Story: Life of Surya (Surya), with his dad Krishnan’s (Surya) influence in each phase of his life.
I liked: The performances of all, mostly. Initially, Surya’s falling in love with Meghna (Sameera Reddy) is a little too mushy-mushy; but I think the emotional and romantic males can correlate to Surya’s feelings, and his ways of showing his love. The picturization of most songs was superb, except my fav ‘Nenjukkul’.
‘Mundhinam’ was superbly done, except for Simran’s appearance. The props used for the song gave the required retro feeling. In ‘Yethi yethi’, Surya appearing in some avatar’s of Kamal’s old movies was good and believable, considering the teenagers’ wish to emulate their icon.
I totally disliked:Most of the dialog. Though sometimes one can convey a lot by simple phrases like ‘I am in love with u’, or ‘I miss(ed) you’ and like, when it is shown in a movie, we expect a different touch to it when it is repeated. Gautham managed to show the difference in Kamal’s love with the two women in VV quite well, but in 'Vaaranam Ayiram', except for Surya’s exuberance, it lacks the novelty. There is a distinct Mani Ratnam touch in the dialog, which is not wrong by itself; but overdoing it makes us to feel like excommunicating Gautham.
This movie shows us that something we take for granted, like the good dialog, can explicitly show its absence, thus spoiling the script. First of all, the family communicating mostly in English, considering the family’s background, is definitely odd. The only word that sticks to our memory when we come out of the movie is ‘Daddy’; I heard a comment from a nearby woman saying her hubby that she is gonna ban her son from calling him ‘daddy’. Such was the irritation it creates, unfortunately. If it wasn't for tax exemption, Gautham would have surely named the movie 'Daddy'. ;) Gautham’s down-to-earth dialogues in ‘Kakha kakha’ were appreciated that time, since they were fresh; but now, that style is stale; we don’t want extravagant poetical/cinematic dialogues but not of the kind conversed in this movie.
Screenplay. Many times we feel that the movie is simply stagnating; especially Gautham’s ploy of showing Surya’s family and Krishnan’s death at the beginning of the movie badly backfires, since we can easily predict much of the movie. Also, the military scenes appear to be totally unnecessary and don’t blend with the overall mood of the movie. Though Gautham wanted to show an ideal dad through Krishnan, the latter’s approach and solutions to Surya’s problems seem somewhat too simple, and so they don’t get our appreciation. True, in several families, the dad doesn’t show much emotions and love towards his children and Krishnan is quite caring; but, unlike in ‘Thavamai Thavamirundhu’, his character development with his children is not shown, if that was what was supposed to be the crust of the movie. So, it oscillates between Surya’s love and his dad; so, when he dies, we don’t feel for him.
Direction. This is a classic case of talented actors showing superb performances not gelling to a memorable movie due to the lack of the glue which the direction provides. The director has paid great attention to peripheral issues like the appearance of Surya at different stages, Krishnan and Malini (Simran) in 60’s, film-making in different parts of the world, and song picturization; but has miserably failed to weave them all in a beautiful fabric of his 3 departments – screenplay, dialog and direction. If he wants to show a real urban middle-class family, in which of such family is the elder brother happily married with children, when his sister is not married?
Gautham likes to show his characters to be the creamy layer. We heard Maya of KK say ‘MSc Maths, from IIT Madras’ evoking laughter in the theater, and now it is ‘Comp Sci from REC Trichy and 99% score, plus MS from Berkeley’. If Surya’s efforts to find Meghna were lame, his zeroing-in on Prithviraj during the child abduction in a city like Delhi, that too within days, is too much stretching of imagination.
Initially when I heard the rumors that it would be a remake of ‘Forrest Gump’, I didn’t like the idea; but now I feel that it would have been far better if it was a remake.