Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon
Cast: Surya Sivakumar, Simran Bagga, Sameera Reddy, Divya Spandana
Genre: action, romance, drama
Luckily this isn't one of the movies I liked that turned out to be a flop. In fact it was one of the most successful movies of 2008. It was a bit hit and miss between me and Gautham Menon - I really liked Vinnaithaandi Vaaruvaaya, but was quite indifferent towards Kaakha Kaakha (my first Menon movie). Maybe I've come to the stage where I can appreciate these kind of movies.. talking about 'these kind'.. I don't really know how to cathegorize Vaaranam Aayiram. It's not the typical masala, though there's a little bit of everything.
Surya played two characters in the movie - Krishna and Surya. Father and son. At the beginning of the movie, Surya is an army man flying on a rescue mission when he gets a call about his father's demise. He accept condolences from the soldiers, looks out into the sky and starts reminiscing... about his childhood, growing up, first love, his darkest times. He speaks out to his father for the last time, though he knows he'll never see him again, won't be able to thank him for everything, he looks for solace this way. And we as viewers get to know what an inspiration Krishna was for his son.
I don't want to reveal more about the plot. The story borders on epic in terms of being centred on an ordinary man. The mood and themes kept changing with the blink of an eye. At first I wasn't sure what to make of it. But as the story progressed and I got used to Gautham's storytelling, I realized how good the movie is. There were some very strong moments scattered evenly throughout the movie, some of which still resonate with me. There was this one segment that came totally out of nowhere and didn't make much sense. Then it became another turning point in Surya's life and everything made sense. You know, when a movie is told in retrospective, yet I still forget where it all is leading to, because I get immersed in the story... I LOVE such movies.
Surya was perfect. Boyish, charming, intense, angry... you name it, he played it. Played it well. He managed to make both father and son stand out on their own, gave them different speech pattern and body language. It was interesting to watch. Though he's no Hrithik on the dance floor, in my book he managed just fine. :)
Both ladies were very believable. I can tolerate OTT, cutesy and arrogant characters, but in a movie like this, believable female leads were necessary. Not there only for the eye candy and songs. They had a nice personality, simple girls that could live next door. Sameera and Divya charmed me. I don't really know why the first was labelled as glamorous and the second plain. I found them both beautiful, just in a different way. This is one of the few movies where I accepted two female leads as integral to the plot. Not to mean I ignored Simran, I adored her as a college girl and later Surya's mom.
I came to appreciate Gautham's style over time. I like how he tells stories, even though some things might not resonate with the audience, he just does it his way. If I didn't know this was the same man that made Kaakha Kaakha and Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya, I would get it. Can't say why, but it just FELT similar to his previous work. The music is wonderful. Somebody recommended me this movie and the first thing I did was to look for the music videos on youtube. I got hooked pretty quickly. And my joy was double when I saw how well placed the music was and how it moved the story forward. No filler songs here :) And they were beautifully picturized too!! And the gori dancers weren't half naked - now if that doesn't speak about the integrity of a movie, then I don't know what does :P
I don't really know why this movie got to me so. I just remember that when I finished it I kept thinking about it. The movie is – and don't shoot me, please – different. There weren't those OTT fights and cheesy sound effects for me to label it as a Masala flick. On the other hand, there were some aspects of the story that I found really sweet – the family being together, idyllic relationships, the friend of your little sister that you never really noticed.... :) Oh, in case I din't make myself clear, I liked it. A lot. And it isn't only because Surya is such a handsome man - he's mainly a good actor. And since the faith of this movie heavily depended on the lead's performance, I'd say Gautham got the right man for his tribute to his father. I'd rate it even higher if I din't have to listen to Surya saying "Daddy" every 5 minutes - it can get annoying after a while. Either way, I'm glad I watched it - if nothing else, the music videos are certainly worth it :)