Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya Review

Woody Allen’s cult classic ‘Annie hall’ has a fantastic closing line which pretty much sums up what relationships are all about,

“After that it got pretty late, and we both had to go, but it was great seeing Annie again. I... I realized what a terrific person she was, and... And how much fun it was just knowing her; and I... I, I thought of that old joke, y'know, the, this... this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, uh, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken." And, uh, the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" The guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; y'know, they're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd, and... But, uh, I guess we keep going' through it because, uh, most of us... need the eggs”

Gautham Vasudeva Menons latest offering Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya pretty much epitomizes the same theory. True we have seen it all before. A Hindu Tamil boy an assistant director falls for a very smart beautiful Mallu Christian girl, and yeah its love at first sight for him. He is not quite sure about what the girl feels, and surprisingly the girl herself isn’t very sure. Though later it is indeed revealed that its love at first sight for her too. But she doesn’t want to hurt her family who is hell bent against the idea of a marriage to a wannabe director and even worse a Hindu. He woos her like any other crazy love bitten boy and she does eventually fall for him, not before she almost gets married to another person. But still all the nice things that are planned and dreamt doesn’t go exactly as expected and we head up to a pre climatical twist which is kind of intelligent.

Gautham Menons strong point has always been romance. Be it the fully driven plot of “Minnale” or the subplots in “Kakha Kakha”, Vettaiyadu Vilayaadu, and Varanam Aayiram. Each one of them was worked to perfection and he seemed to be a natural in romanticizing his lead pairs. VTV is no exception. But here he goes into a zone of unpredictability in relationships. As much as it’s narrated from the hero’s perspective, the main crux lies in his characterization of Jessie. She is completely complex, you never know what exactly is going in her mind, or we aren’t even very clear if she really know what she really wants. She suffers between the compulsions of not disappointing her folks and her extreme liking towards the hero. It’s a classic case of a battle between your heart and your mind, and you never know when or how the precedence is taken. I simply loved the unpredictability of her characterization without which the movie would have been just another candy floss romantic entertainer.
The dialogues are perfect as you would expect from a Gautham Menons movie. They do touch the borderline of cheesiness at times, but stay mostly close to real conversations. He seems to have a pulse for depicting modern day relationships touching the hormonal drive without making it looking vulgar. It’s no more just starring and glaring but involves a fair share of physicality driven by pure emotions. Take for the sequence where the lead pair shares a train journey together when they have just decided to be just friends. They are so attracted to each other that they gradually end up coochi cooing at the comfort of each other. The film is filled with such beautiful moments. Added I loved the way he downplayed all the melodrama of the issue of a Hindu boy and a Christian girl. There are no preachy sequences where love is beyond all religion or no over the top sequences of the parent threatening to pull off an emotional blackmail. It’s all done in a simple subtle way. Yeah you do have a very indulgent boxing fight sequence ( was it to a compromise to play down to the masses ) and the usual Gautham Menons trademarks - English dialogues( he takes a dig at himself ) , he dubbing for one of the characters(essentially an one with a negative shade) btw is the mechanical engineering part a repeat too ?? . All said and done I would rate this one as his finest work, where he shows a great deal of consistency throughout the movie. People accuse of him being wannabe Maniratnam, he does follow his footsteps and if I might add in the right direction too but does need a fair bit of catching to do.

The movie was in the news right from day one for its casting of Simbhu with Gautam Menon. Simbhu is a name who immediately people relates to nonsensical punch dialogues and trashy commercial pot boilers till now was working Gautham Menon for the first time. What an outing he has. It’s a complete makeover for him. He gets a new look, a subtle one that with a set of fantastic costumes to go with. He is required to downplay it and he does competently well. He is thoroughly likeable in the scenes where he goes around wooing his lady love. He does show a great deal of maturity in holding up a scene like the one in central park where he breaks down confessing his love. If he could work a bit harder in dialogue delivery and continues to find good directors, then for sure he is going places. Trisha on the other hand doesn’t make much use of a fantastic opportunity. Sure she has never looked so beautiful before, but gives an impression that she could have given much more to her character. Anyways she is decent enough and not kind of a letdown. Then we have a fantastic performance by Ganesh (I head he is one of the producers) the cinematographer who comes as a friend of Simbhu. He is a delight.

We indeed have another pair in the movie without whom the movie couldn’t have worked as it has.ARR is pure genius. There is not a frame without his BGM and the fantastic songs are used as more like a narrative. Doesn’t just the start of Aaromale prelude leave us with Goosebumps? It’s been his best work in Tamil after a long time and it gives a huge boost to the movie. Then we have the DOP Manoj Paramahams (not sure of his previous works) who literally creates poetry with his cinematography. Be it the pleasant visuals for the songs or the close up shots of the lead actors he is in top notch form. His visuals add a pleasantness which blends very well with the romantic backdrop of the movie.

To sum it up it’s been a while since we have had a full fledged romantic movie which has everything going for it. This one has, so do check this one out!!

No comments:

Post a Comment