Varanam Aayiram Movie Review  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

After a greatest delay, finally the movie has hit the silver screen, creating a lot of hype among the audience. Thats why the tickets for the entire weekend was sold out once it is released. But I am not sure of the box office status on the forthcoming days. Ok lets look into the story line.

The movie opens with death of an old man(Surya) at his residence. This news has been passed on to an army officer(surya2) who is on his way to a mission. His flashback on his life, from childhood till date, with his most adored and disciplinarian father. After schooling, the son surya enters into his college life at tiruchi, but ends up watching movies than attending classes. After his last semester exams, on the way back to Chennai he meets the beautiful Meghana (Sameera Reddy) on train and it is love at first sight. Being a guy who has never looked at a girl, he pulls out his guitar and sings En iniyia pon nilaave!

He comes back to his home and settle the debts of his dad and excels in his new business. Meanwhile Meghna gone to do her MS at Berkley University, California. With his parents permission, goes to America and win over his lady love. But by the plot of fate, Meghna dies in a bomb blast. Returning home india, surya suffers for this loss and indulges into drugs. To bring him back, the dad surya and mom simran tries all possible ways, and sends him kashmir to change his mindset. There he meets his co passenger menon in trouble(his son being kidnapped). Surya saves the life of Aditya, son of menon. This flashes his mind to persue a career in Army. And becomes an army officer immediately. Here suddenly Divya enters the plot, carrying her total love towards surya. Her love will soon be accepted and ends up in a successful marriage and kid too. 

Gautham simply wrings you dry with his overplay of emotions in the father-son bonding. The climax is heart wrenching and heartwarming as Surya’s breakdown and tears roll down his cheek which looks real. The best part of the film is the first half, especially the wispy romance between Surya and Sameera Reddy, with the scene where Surya falls for her in the train is 
hilarious and romantic. And when Sameera says finally – “I’m in love”, with Surya playing around with a toy helicopter at Fort Point, which offers the best view of the Golden Bridge in San Francisco, the romance tugs at your heart. Only Gautham, a romantic can make such scenes work.

Ratnavel’s camera is eye-catching as it pans California, Dehradun, Delhi, Rameswaram and other locations and gives the film richness. Surya’s make-up, his six pack look and old man get-up is very good.

The music of Harris Jayaraj is first rate and tangy, with meaningful lyrics of Thamarai. This is Harris- Gautham’s last film together and the combo is simply terrific. Four of the songs before interval are shot beautifully like a music video, with Adiye Kolluthe… and Nenjukkul Peidhidum.. being the pick of lot, while two songs post interval mars the tempo. 

The power-packed performer award belongs to Surya, who is outstanding in a dual role as father and son. Shorn off any artifice, his anguish, pains and joy look real. The female star cast is simply too good, whether it is Simran playing Surya’s mother, Sameera Reddy pure eye candy and brings an uninhibited joie to her role as Meghana. Divya is outstanding, investing her character with sensitivity a far cry from her Kuthu days. 

On the downside, the film is excruciatingly slow, and in the second half plods as the director has no story to say. All of a sudden why did he make his hero larger than life? The Delhi kidnapping and the hero solving it has been done to bring out his heroism, which sticks out like a sore thumb. Is there not a cut-off age to join the army? Surya’s character is far too simplistic. The thing about a father backing his son to go to America and win over his lady love just doesn’t wash. An ordinary middle class, Tamil family speaking so fluently in English does not gel with viewers.

On the whole its a modernised version of cheran's "Thavamai thavamirundhu" in which Rajkiran is a poor village father, whereas here Surya(Dad) is a father of modern times working in central govt. But the former had so many realisitic feelings clustered together, but the latter ends up in a messy mixed over reactions. 

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