Nov 15, 2008

Varanam Ayiram

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?

His numerous inspirations. Previously, he seemed to copy from his own KK when he made VV and PKMC, but in this movie, lots of scenes remind us of other famous movies. I remembered Lakshya (the story of a confused young man finding his passion in military), Autograph (love failure leading to substance abuse and the dad’s advise to channel the anger into something positive), Life is beautiful (he camouflages a gory situation as a game to a child), and Thavamai Thavamirundhu (mother and an ill father being happy with their son and D-I-L, and the son’s wish to make his dad retire from work and enjoy life).

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.


APALA said...

What an effort Surya has put in for the film - oh damn...... what a wasted effort.

I can not understand how did Gautham failed to see that he did not have anything except a lump in his throat to venture into such a film? He did not do justice to his honest feeling by supporting it with an ample story, simple but effective dialogues and a neat screenplay - he had nothing, just nothing! And it shows in every moment. The film is an honest attempt but it drags forever and does not seem to go nowhere from the getgo!

Whats' the obsession with english dialogues - that too so lame.......

I waited for VA with such an expectation (Never did this for any other movie other than Kamal-ji's movies) - that it was such a disappointment.

Hope it recovers all the cost within the initial week - at leat for Surya's sake.

What to say.......mmmmmmmm
If only horses had wings.......

ramya said...

Hey raju.. nice pics.. never knew simran s there.. surprised.. I have nt read any review yet n not going to read this.. will watch the movie n read it.. I love the suspense of any movie.. I generaly dont read reviews n watch movies.. so i ll try to watch in few days n cum here.. bye

Anonymous said...

Hi Raju,
I havent see the movie yet, but heard mixed reaction from different people. One of my friend given the comment that "Metti Oli" mega serial was better than this movie. Let me see. But i can say hard luck to Surya. He is becoming next Kamal(probably for the efforts,hard work and the passion with the cinema ofcourse in the bad luck too).Hope Goutham will give a clear movie next time.


matrix said...

Divya is a bad choice. Gautham has something towards chubby heroines. Also, this guy kills all of his heroines except in Minnale. God knows, how many times he's gonna use the same way of expressing love " am in love with u ".

I think this movie is more of Gautham's home made video to be added into his personal collection, to reminiscence of his dad.

Raju said...

Apala, yeah true.. it was an awesome performance by Surya.. Can hardly find fault in that.
I agree with you tht it is an honest attempt but an unimpressive one. I too hope that it runs till Pongal.
Ramya, there is a mix of feelings after watching Simran in this movie. You will understand what I mean when you watch it.. :)
Murthy, LOL at the 'Metti Oli' comparison. I havent seen any episode of Metti Oli (Am I not lucky? ;) ), so no comments. It is watchable once, for the sake of Surya and songs.
I agree with you that Surya is trying to emulate Kamal. Vikram was my choice for Kamal's heir apparent, but of late, he is travelling in some other direction.
Matrix, I didnt like Divya either. In fact, I have never liked her in any of the movies, Pollathavan included. Edho recommendation-le chance kidaikka vandha ponnu madhiri oru feel.
Nice point about killing of his heroines. I didnt expect that in VA.
LOL on the last sentence... in such a video, he could have as well acted as the hero.. What a 'cameo' he played in this movie !?!? ;)

matrix said...

The only reason I can think of why he didn't act as a hero in VA is he could not have digested watching himself through out the movie.If you notice, even in that cameo, he had to conceal his face :D

Anonymous said...

I am hearing more comments from my friends and it is positive. They made some trimming in the second half to make the movie intersting. In my view almost all youngsters like this movie,Passionate with surya,songs,picturisation and Sameera reddy.Hopefully it will be a success movie to surya.


Anonymous said...

Its not a bad movie by any means but nothing special either.People started walking out of theatre after some time because it was tediously long for the story line....lovely music, brilliant camera work.


Raju said...

Matrix, :) Good correlation..
I donno if it is true or not.. I heard that for the guitar songs sung by Surya, the voice was rendered by Gautam.. May be he also dubbed for some villains/sidekicks.. What all we have to watch for, in his movies!!
Murthy, hmmm.. I heard that the trimming was of a long but good segment.. True, one wouldnt miss it one bit if chopped off..
IMHO, among youngsters, girls are more likely to like this movie than guys (Thanks to Surya). Though Sameera Reddy looks good, I cant say that same about Divya. I also wish it succeeds.. it is much better than most of the Vijay and Ajith movies of recent times.
Manoop, welcome here.. :)
Yeah, surely it is not a bad movie, but could have been much better. The impatience of the audience could be seen here too.. esp. in the second half..
Camera work was quite jerky in the beginning of the movie, but after Surya's story kick-started, it was superb. Forgot to mention.

Anonymous said...

Great job by Gautham for giving a offbeat narration without cacophonous villain, item number, punch dialogues, separate comedy track.

vm said...

Hi Raju,

A quick question, did Sameera say she is "expecting" 99% or she "got" 99%?

Anonymous said...

dialogues are getting repeated for number of times… (e.g. ‘daddy neenga enga irukkeenga,,,,neenga en kooda thaan irukkeenga…’) Cheran’s thavamaai thavamirinthu was much much better than this one telling father-son affection…


Raju said...

Anon, yeah.. true; but the absence of the things that you mentioned alone doesn't make a movie praiseworthy. I understand that each family is unique, with its own characters, emotions, problems, etc. So, while some viewers might relate to certain scenes, they can vehemently disagree on some other scenes. It almost became like a blog, wherein people say that I have the freedom to write whatever I think, and these are all my honest thoughts. Only those posts which are agreeable/likable by most readers will be frequently visited; similarly, those who find several of the scenes to be 'mokkai', will spread their verdict through word-of-mouth..
Vm, :) Enna, kazhugu kannanoda place-le irundhu varreengala? Sooda ange oru sandai poittu irukkiradhai parthen.. :)

Sameera says she is 'expecting' 99%.
Madhan, welcome here.. :)

Yeah, the one you mentioned was repeated once. Comparing with TT, I can say that if that was the rural version of Father-Son affection, VA is the urban version.

alfareria vasca said...

This cannot succeed in reality, that is exactly what I suppose.