Kaatru Veliyidai (TAMIL)

Starring: Karthi, Aditi Rao Hydari, RJ Balaji, Rukmini and many more
Editing : Sreekar Prasad
Music : AR Rahman
Cinematography : Ravivarman
Directed by: Mani Ratnam

Mani Ratnam, known for his romantic tales with a different note is at it again! Each time he surprises us with a fresh angle. Tweaking his lead characters with curious settings and narrating the tale in a refreshing manner, Mani is able to achieve his vision to a great extent. Thanks to his long time association with ARR and Vairamuthu he has once again given the oomph factor needed for the film. Lets see how the movie has fared.

Fighter pilot Varun aka VC (Karthi) and doctor Leela Abraham (Aditi Rao Hydari) fall in love against the backdrop of the Kargil war in Srinagar. Everything is smooth till Leela realizes that it is difficult for her to move with VC’s self-centered nature and the way he disrespect her in public. She is a modern girl who wants equality in a relationship and decides to walk away from his life. VC gets caught by Pakistan army and he keeps on thinking of Leela and what happens next is the rest.

In this film, Ratnam rehashes themes and moments from his previous films, but he also takes a bash at understanding the gender wars. The climax looks tad weak, the scenes where Karthi escapes from a Pakistan jail looks convenient filled with logical loopholes. The screenplay sleep walks till the pre-climax where only the film moves in a normal speed. The film’s biggest strength is Aditi Rao Hydari, and she shines in every frame. She is there throughout and even gets a perfect introduction scene. She owns the film with her winsome performance. The way Aditi cries, laughs and emote completely attract us.

With a toned physique and sporting a new look sans a mustache, Karthi is at his career best, be it in a male chauvinist act or as the one who regrets his past actions. Blame it on his character of a self-centered egoistic brash guy, we hardly root for him and he looks quite uncomfortable in most of the intimate scenes. Visually, Kaatru Veliyidai is beautiful, beyond anyone’s imagination. Each frame is like a painting and Ravi Varman as the cinematographer deserves more than just praise. It is amazing how Ratnam uses the beautiful backdrop of Kashmir and a few other places throughout the film to paint a troubled love story and to highlight the different facets of love.

Rahman’s music, too, serves as the backbone of the film. The songs are perfectly placed and never break the flow of the narrative. Usually Mani flashes his brilliance in all his movies and he has shown in this too but unfortunately all that gets lost in a largely underwhelming film. There are some great scenes, some moments that prove why he’s a legend, but otherwise it is disappointing. Either he comes to our world and give his version of our story or he wants us to come us into his story. This belongs to the latter part where we are invited but we could not enjoy it fully. Better luck next time..!! 🙂

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O Kadhal Kanmani (TAMIL)

OKK

Starring: Dulquar Salman, Nithya Menon, Prakashraj, Leela Samson and many more
Editing : Srikar Prasad
Music : AR Rahman
Cinematography: PC Sriram
Directed by: Mani Ratnam

From where to start for this film..? After two back to back debacles the director needs a much breakthrough. Though he is experienced he needs to prove that he is still the same who has the legend tag attached to him. So he buckles his shoes with his best crew and goes with a not much known star cast as lead pair and takes a genre in which he is well versed, but this time he has updated as per the trend. So what he has given this time with the Kanmani..? Lets see..

The story takes place in Mumbai. Adithya (Dulquar Salman) is a digital game designer and Tara (Nithya Menon), an architect. They both have their own ambitions and they are career-driven individualist’s who have strong perception about their personal space and life. They meet each other and become friends instantly, thanks to the similarities in the way they think. They decide to move in together and start living together in the house where Adithya lives as paying guest. There lives Ganapathi (Prakashraj) and Bhavani (Leela Samson). What happens in the lives of the younger couple and as well as the elder couple forms the rest.

Many may think what plot has been handled as the live in relationships are not much encouraged in our country but Mani has not tried to say it is correct. The dialogs are gems even though it has the usual Mani’s stamp of having just one word. Excellent casting works wonder for the film. Even though the film is mostly based with the young couple, the real romance is conveyed through the elder ones. The ending is based upon the elder couple’s romance is where the film is alive.

The film completely depends on the lead pair be it the younger or the elder. Dulquar Salmaan has managed to perfect his Tamil accent and his expressions too are apt for the role he’s been asked to portray. Nithya Menon is the soul of the film as she brings alive her character with not just those expressive eyes and infectious smile, but with her acting too. Although first half is a tad bit lengthy, Prakash Raj saves it with his performance. This is one of his best performances apart from ‘Kanchivaram‘ and ‘Vetayadu Vilayadu‘. Leela Samson, her debut film, playing his wife has done justice to her character as an Alzheimer patient.

Though the film is for youth the crew is not young though. AR Rahman scores both with his songs which is already a runaway hit and also with his BGM’s which makes to take a note of it (eagerly waiting for the BGM’s). PC Sriram’s lighting and angles deserves a special mention. Its full of color’s in the entire film mainly pink, violet and many cool ones. The design of the house where Adithya lives is a proof of it. The animation part in the entire film is a very interesting one as the hero is a game developer. Going by the climax we can clearly say that Mani Ratnam has not taken the liberty to show that youngsters prefer only live in and thus he managed to play it safe and proved he is stil the king in making films based out of love given any time. Go and enjoy as the film is more than OK..!! 🙂