Saturday, November 22, 2008

Movie Review: Vaaranam Aayiram

Gautham Menon recites a fantastic ballad in "Vaaranam Aayiram". It is unlike anything he has done before. This movie wastes no time in showing us that it is straight from his heart. The honesty of the emotion and the singular purpose of bringing out the value of a father in a person's life is immediately evident. The movie has several flaws. They poke you and force you to notice them even if you don't want to. But I didn't mind them. There was no flaw that diminished the movie's appeal. The overarching emotional force field that Gautham lays out (and reinforces several times over) around the movie is so strong that I was willingly sucked into the moment. The larger picture that this movie paints is wonderful even if some of the finer details of the painting has smudges and crinkles in them. Ultimately, given the subject matter handled I suspect this movie will appeal more to male audience who resonate with the theme of the movie.
Vaaranam Aayiram tells us a simple and age-old story - about the the valuable influence of Krishnan in his son Surya's life. Surya, an army major, is on his way to execute a rescue mission in Jammu. His helicopter receives a call from base letting him know that his father just passed away. During the long helicopter journey, he sits in the helicopter peers pensively into the clear blue sky and remembers his father's presence during the defining moments of his life. The entire movie is told in slices of flashback almost reminiscent of Alaipayuthey's . Both father and Son are played by actor Surya. The movie opens with a sequence that leads to Krishnan's death. The first time you see Krishnan (A 70'ish old man played by Surya) - the affected gruff voice and the exaggerated old-man walk makes you wonder if it is anyway reflective of the quality of the movie. Thankfully it is not. As we are pulled into Surya's story - we quickly forget the fact that Krishnan is also played by the same actor.
Although the movie claims that Krishnan is struggling finance-wise to make both ends meet, Surya's story is that of any upper-middle-class kid brought up in Madras. Gautham brings out all the finer aspects and emotions that people my age experienced while growing up. The influence of MJ, Arnold, pop music, Ilayaraja, Manirathnam, Godfather, Robert Frost are all brought out very nicely. This in a way includes only a small subsection of the audience and alienates a large section of the audience. However, Gautham goes overboard by making most of the dialogs play out in English. Gautham belongs to a generation, which was taught to ignore Thamizh and express most thoughts and emotions in English. So - to him - it is a language that appears to be a honest vehicle that brings out the subtle emotions that he wants to convey.
Krishnan's role as a parent is again very urban-middle-class. Few fathers and sons who belong to that category should be able to relate to him. Many might not. Krishnan loves his wife openly and unabashedly ( a very positive attitude for his generation - because people who were like him were traditionally ridiculed). He indulges his son like a friend and appears to play the role of an influencer rather than an autocrat. It might be hard for many to believe that such relationship is possible in India (especially in Thamizh Nadu). But as counter-intuitive as it sounds - it does happen. My father still can't stop talking about this movie. I know many father-son types who can relate to this. However, I am sure many in my extended family would dismiss this movie as an "english kaaran padam". Many scenes had a stamp of class in it. When Krishnan drops his son off at the hostel and makes that comment about letters (I wrote several letters to my parents and cried every time they dropped me and left) was fantastic. He lets his son know that he is no longer a boy but a man in his own right. What a nice way to motivate a boy! Simply remarkable. There are many more such moments. This is just a tip of the iceberg.
I did not find this movie too long (I can see why some thought a few scenes were scene unnecessary). I wasn't looking for quick entertainment and was quite prepared to sit back and let the movie flow into me. It could take however long it wanted to pause, linger and create its own moments. I was in no hurry. Gautham does not hold himself back. He goes ahead and expresses every single thought of his in his own terms. Reminded me of Manirathnam's Iruvar (although VA is not in Iruvar's class). Surya's story is that of a young, fearless (and quite reckless) boy who follows his instincts and "lives life in his own terms". Surya falls in love with Meghna and pursues her to the end of the world. He lives through life's great disappointments and grows up to be the man who has seen it all.
This might not be Gautham's own story but may have certain elements of his life incorporated into it. Sameera Reddy looks really beautiful. Divya Spandana isn't bad looking either. Surya impresses with his eye movements and his body language. I couldn't believe the scene where he played a 15 year old school boy. In May 2007 when Karthi told me about this with great surprise, I didn't quite get it. Now I do. The scene where Surya expresses surprise when Sameera reciprocates his love was remniscent of Jyotika's surprise when Surya agrees to marry her in "Kaakha Kaakha". Divya's proposal to Surya was also very similar to Jyothika's proposal to Surya in the same movie. I liked the emotion in both the movies. Among songs, I liked "Adiye Kolluthey", "Nenjikkul Peithidum", "Mundhinam paarthene". The rest were poor.
Gautham needn't have made the movie's flaws this noticeable. Nobody gets 99% in B.E. That too in REC, Trichy. Forget about that ridiculous visa interview - what visa did Surya get to go to the US? How is he in valid visa status? His business that he starts as a vendor for TVS and TI is confusing. The dappan-kuthu song, the Delhi adventure and the montages of army Surya were unnecessary and could have been edited. Usage of words like "kiddo" and "honey" shows needless hollywood influence and sounds out-of-place in this movie. From a commercial POV, I couldn't help but feel that this movie is too sophisticated and too self-indulgent for the mass audience. The audience is not known to be a patient and Gautham Menon, switches modes from ganster-cop type movies, and really tests the patience of this audience. I was happy he brought Annanagar Tower back into movie focus again. It is a location of many memorable movie scenes and it is a welcome return.
What particularly disappointed me towards the end was the recitation of the first two lines of Andal's "Vaaranam Aayiram" and the explanation of its meeting. While the movie's name and story might have made a lot of sense in Gautham's head and script - its translation into the movie medium may not have been that effective. The mention of the title in the last scene actually reminded me of S. Ve. Sekhar's "Kaatula Mazhai" ending dialogs where the actors deliberately say the title of the drama just to ridicule the habit. Another thing - When I saw Prithvi Raj, I really thought "dei namma Babloo da" (just the way the actor feared in his interview).
When Ayitha Ezhuthu was released and Karthi got me tickets for First Day show - we had an interesting post-movie discussion on engaging the audience that I find relevant to VA. He asked me if I experienced "high-points" during this movie?. Apparently these "high points" are considered important for a movie. Directors aim for scenes that take the audience emotions to a high. They try to wow them every now and then. Convetional wisom holds that the number of "high points" is proportional to the movie's success. Vaaranam Aayiram does not have that many high points. It does not have many twists or turns. So if this theory is right, this movie will not click. But its a damn good movie.

29 comments:

Arunram said...

Hi Hawkeye,

I am a regular reader of your blogs. I haven't seen VA yet, but I disagree with one of your points where you claimed "Nobody gets 99% in B.E. That too in REC, Trichy." I am an alumnus of RECT and there were a couple of students from our batch who had a CGPA of more than 9.8 which essentially translates to 98%. So 99% is possible, but a really rare and exceptional case.

janani said...

So this you like!!

The English dialogs were big turnoffs. But even bigger was the use of the word "Daddy" in every other sentence. Boys older than 5 should not be allowed to utter that word!!

Hawkeye said...

arunram,

I don't know how theCGPA system in REC works. But if it is like any other place then 9.8 GPA cannot be considered 98%.

(hypothetically) You can score 85% in all your subjects in all your semesters and keep getting an A grade for that 85 and end up being a 10.0 GPA person. Infact if you are graded on a curve then you can get 60% and still get an A for it.

99% average is far more difficult.

Janani,

yes.

I hate anybody who calls their father 'daddy'. It was more prevalant in SBOA and I couldnt digest it at all. Even boys under 5 shouldnt be allowed to utter it.

Anonymous said...

So you think is a must-see. I've watched only 2 of GVM movies, one of which was totally inane and the other was a bad-print I couldn't sit through. Unless this movie plays in my city, I'll have to wait till it comes out on DVD :(

Mamatha

Anonymous said...

i think he went on a tourist visa, no?

-dinesh

Paadhi said...

Why should it appeal more to the male audience? Iddhenna unga AE postoda follow up aa?

And Karthi ungaloda friendunnu adikadi edhukku remind pannareenga? :)

A long time silent reader

Gradwolf said...

damn, they showed it only for three days here in Raleigh. Hoping it comes for Thanksgiving weekend but I doubt it...

Anonymous said...

who's karthi? surya's bro?

sreekrishnanv said...

I Kind of agree to what you say ... But i need to mention that the movie is not "Damn Good" in its current form.

There is a perspective miss ... you cant have narration and Flashback style... the perspective is not consistent.

Its great in parts ... not as a stream. The urban middle class is portrayed well - even in parts as you say.

Music was not good - not the songs, the BGM !

Visa - i seriously doubt that part though i am no expert ... and 99 % was tooo much !

Hawkeye said...

mamatha,

i hope the inane movie you were referring to was "Pachai Kili Muthu Charam". GVM is a good director.

dinesh,

it wasn't clear.

Paadhi,

ellam poli vilambaram dhaan. appo dhaan jananga emanthu padikka varuvaanga.

aditya,

has to wiat 2 weeks for it to come to seattle.

sreekrishnav,

most narration has flashback component implicit in it.

Anonymous said...

Long rant coming:

Varanam Aayiram is THAT kind of a movie which you'll either love unabashedly or hate from the darkest recesses of your heart. I clearly belong to the latter category. IMHO, it was a wonderful idea gone completely wrong. Only after reading your review do I believe that there is a hard-core Thamizh audience for even a film like this...and I definitely don't mean that as an insult (more of an Aahaa moment)

Having read your review, I completely understand some of your perspectives' as you could probably relate to them but just to give you an idea of why I feel the way I do

--- writing letters in my college was (rightly??) considered 'sissy' - for communication, we had phones and for memories, hell, some had diaries whilst most others needed nothing - 'Growing up' was not something I was ever gonna forget and the memory of those days is still implanted in my mind...

--- I studied in an Anglo Indian set up and had lots of pals but no house I visited had fathers calling their sons kiddo...it was the 1980s after all.. and even THEY didnt speak English 24*7 at home...

Leaving aside the emotional aspects, the movie insulted the audience's intelligence in so many scenes

a) Sameera studies in REC but she is class first, college first, university first and state first in studies. God...the way we work there and in most eng: colleges, you can be only the first in your discipline....saying the CS topper got more marks than ECE topper and hence is college first makes NO sense....

arunram,
In my 4 yrs at REC, I dont recall seeing/hearing of anyone who scored an aggregate of 95+ % across all subjects in any semester...and we're talking 2800 students here..

b) I've hardly seen a single person in my life who goes from BE (Bracket) to successful entrepreneur to army major as quickly as Surya does in this movie. At this rate, anyone with a six pack and failed love life is going to queue up to become a commando. Pls don't tell me there was no time for showing incidents to establish this part of the journey... Surely after holding me at gunpoint for 3 hrs 5 mts, I would not have minded another 20 mts.

'Alavukku melae ponaal amrudhamum nanju'aagum' - 15 mts after the show, I couldn't recall a single moment which gave me a lump in my throat or a moist eye. The emotions were so in-the-face and screaming to be taken note of that I almost died of nausea.

VA ensured that I will never ever watching a GM movie without getting 3-4 of my 'kasaappu kadai aadu' nanbargal to vouch for it..

ps: If ever there was a movie which needed to end with a punch line like 'enna kodumai saar idhu' this was it...

- NetriKann

Anonymous said...

Bharath,

I think Surya went on a tourist visa. The consulate officer only asked him about the certainty of his return which is typically a question for tourist visa seekers. Besides, they didn't talk anything about I-20/Funding etc and with an expected "cup" in Heat & Mass Transfer, there's no way he's going to set his foot in Berkeley with a F-1 visa.

Anonymous said...

I thought the movie had some good moments but did not click overall. Also felt that the sister characterization could have been a lot better. In my opinion, I think if he wanted to engage the audience emotionally, he should have shown the highs in Surya's life as real HIGHS and lows as real LOWS. Also Krishnan does not appear to make big time impacts in Surya's life too. There are few 'ok' things he says..but that’s about it. I am not even going to go the ‘very important Menon’ character. As otherwise he is not selling any interesting story, it becomes just a story (which is not movie material - in my eyes)

My 2 cents

Hawkeye said...

Netrikann,

nice rant. I truly enjoyed reading that comment :-)

I agree with you on most counts. Especially the "kiddo" and REC marks part.

I was in hostel during school. So writing letters was not "sissy". In college - maybe.

Anon,

maybe tourist visa. But it wasn't clear.

/* The consulate officer only asked him about the certainty of his return which is typically a question for tourist visa seekers */

they ask this for everyvisa.

maxdavinci said...

thangala pa!

everyone is zoning on the 99% and visa. It actually shows that tehy have nothhing else to rant abt. Let's say they changed that to 90% and made it a tourist visa. Then i wonder what ppl will come up with!

We all love to poke at the weakest ends. Wonder why we never ridicule that a bunch of village bumpkins went to defeat an elitist english team. wasn't that over?

It's all cinematic license!

2 weeks in Seattle? ayyo we saw first day in novi,MI! ha ha ha

Prakash said...

Hi Hawkeye,

On the visa note, the only place in the movie which point out it should be a tourist visa is when Surya says " ahvalodu valdha andha 90(thonooru) natkall... " .(I guess)

One more thing when Surya sings the song in collage cultural the banner shows it is 1994 and the Oklahoma incident took place in April, 1995, so in between that time Surya was able to become an entrepreneur/ build not buy a house/ make money to buy tickets to the US if not for paying back his fathers debt was a bit too far fetched.

An other far fetched theory I could think off for supporting the above timeline is in “yethi yethi” song , Surya dances in front of Pilot theater where Sathyaa,1988(Kamal’s movie) is running , so 15 year old Surya at 1988 would make him to pass out(even with a bar) engineering at 1993/94 max.

I would not have cared more about these if the director had chosen to say Sameera died in an accident of some sorts rather than telling she died on a true incident which took place in the past, because when true incidents are portrayed in a fictional story on the screen it demands an logical connection.

I think Gautham tried to get an influence of Forrest Gump kind off mixing real life events with reel life story( various incidents in Gump’s life and American History), but Forrest Gump had a good connection working for it in the story.

Sorry if my view were annoying to read, I did like the movie more for being a visual treat than for being realistic.

-Prakash Saptagiri

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Maxdavinci... Too much is being made out of the visa scene.. I have seen much worse cases when i went for my visa interview.. one guy who went before me, had flunked 7 out of 10 subjects in the first year of exams. When the visa interviewer asked why, he told some long stories about ragging and girlfriend issues.. I thought, he was sure to be rejected outrightly.. but then, he got his visa approved.. that was really surprising...

As for the 99% case... I think it was a bit overboard.. but he has to convince the audience that, the girl is worthy of getting an admit in berkeley.. Slightly makes me jealous though.. Me being an anna university (College of Engineering, Guindy) graduate with almost 9.5 CGPA.. and still ended up getting rejects from many top colleges..

@Hawkeye - your comment "It might be hard for many to believe that such relationship is possible in India (especially in Thamizh Nadu)." is very hard to accept for me... I was totally able to relate to the father character in the movie.. maybe, calling kiddo was not warranted, given the period to be the 80s.. but still, such cool dad's so exist in tamilnadu.. i am a living example for having such a cool dad-son relationship.. Probably you may call it, one in a million.. but times are changing..

and you could have highlighted a bit more on the way romance and love have been handled in this movie.. GVM has always projected love in a very mature way in his movies (unlike normal tamil movies) and it sure does need mentioning!!!

-Vivek

Raghu said...

Yoo BR - I just loved watching the movie. Can't agree with you more on your take & review - aptly said - this one is straight from GVM's heart.

One of the major differences that I noticed, among the men/women who have watched the movie - after reading blogs, Rediff/Indiaglitz reviews, wikipedia write-up on VA (lot has been written abt it), is that they react very differently who don't have their fathers around...anymore !!

I say this purely out of the movie-watching experience & in-depth analysis/introspection I've done so far - I was so involved
(albeit the 'thona...thona' stupid & distracting comments by gals sitting behind/ahead of us incl the crying babies at the rear-end
of the theater & dumb women repeating 'hello..hello' on their freakin cell phones, without even realizing that the caller cannot be heard in a movie theater - complete lack of courtesy & respect for other serious movie-watchers.

This experience warrants a more stricter and funnier post again from you BR - nee marubadiyum oru post ezhudhariyaa illai naan godhala erangattumaa?!!) that GVM forced me to oscillate between the father/son char & my (real) father & I. Sorta/kinda like movie-within-a-movie !!

It also made me wonder the relationship/affection/laaauve GVM had for his father !! This was validated by my wifey y'day when she said "this movie clearly shows HOW MUCH Suriya (the char) must have loved his father". I could sense that she choked-up when she said that and was also reminded about her father. Whenever I got moments alone over the weekend, I kept going back & forth between the movie & my life.

Very few movies have had this kind of impact on me !! Some scenes were surreal mixed with dejavu moments that watered my eyes
- although the relationship I had with my father was not like the characters in the movie.

I clearly remember one of GVM's comments in an interview that he would be very happy if the movie reminds folks coming out of the theater going "that movie reminds me of my father & I". As the story unfolded, it surely sucked me right in and I walked out feeling the same way that GVM envisioned.

Just like you did, I ignored some of the flaws you have rightly pointed out and let the screenplay
play itself out. Using the word "kiddo" maybe considered a recent addition to the vocab of folks becoming fathers in the 90's but not before. I think it was glaring to folks purely due to the repetitiveness through the movie.

I personally didn't have a beef with words like "kiddo", "dad", "daddy" being used, although my dad (:)) never liked me calling him that way (the very few times I attempted, I got verbally or physically thrashed) but grew up with friends who did. I think the dislike to such 'name-calling' is restricted to Brahmin comm and folks who live outside
of big cities (no offense meant). Other commenters are making too much noise abt this & visa issues.

It is a movie afterall - pazhamozhi maadhiri
rombha aaraya koodadhu - anubavikkanum. Assumption & ignorance is a much safer bet to our intelligence - so let us park it & not miss the glory of
the 'big-picture' view.

I've always noticed GVM's storytelling & nuances in his screenplay on the sensitive portrayal of the 1st meeting of protagonist/girl that leads to their eventual romance. VA is no exception to that - the romance between Suriya & Sameera couldn't have been captured more beautifully (she looked really pretty along with her acting skills - the same way Asin rocked as 'Kaplana' in Ghajini - acting alongside a talent-packed (with a 6-pack to boot as well) & someone as dedicated to his craft as Suriya has +ve influences on other actors around him, I suppose !!
You missed that piece in your otherwise-spot-on review !! You could have written more on the 3 romances more !!

I heard griping by folks that the drug-usage & abuse scenes were totally unnecessary - but my opinion is diametrically the opposite - GVM has intelligently portrayed on how low a man can stoop when destiny dishes out a
tragic loss any kind - especially of a lover !! Both Suriyas simply excelled in those gut-wrenching scenes - truly stellar
performances.

Instead of abusing verbally or raising his hand on his son for straying into the wrong path, parents char play the
understanding/comforting and dealing with an addict in pain/loss in the most humane way possible. GVM's underlying sublime message to parents who
have addictive (of any kind) child, is pure brilliance that is rarely seen on Indian screen. I guess that understanding & offering of support can also be extended to loss/rejection of a passion of any kind - loved one, job loss etc. Motivating the son to funnel all his -ve energy into
something +ve and constructive for the son's own benefit by recalling a cricket match - hats-off (pun not intended) !! The characters relationship was 'unconditional' - I understood what that word meant in that context.

Last but not the least, apart from all the hooplah, everyone seemed to have ignored Simran's brillaint & subdued portrayal of her role - initially as the romantic young gal being vooed by Suriya Sr. and the pain/suffering she goes through of putting up with smoking addict husband (she stole the scene where the father is about to smoke in the hospital and she walks away in utter disgust & frustration !!) and then almost losing her son to drug addiction. IMHO, this is by far Simran's best performance in her filmy career !! Hope she doesn't fade away into oblivion like other talented actresses but stays in the zone for more times to come !! Go Simmy baby :) !!

Next time I watch a GVM movie, will put my fingers together for a loooooong whistle (which I've always reserved ONLY for thalaivar
Superstar Rajini :) (oru thirutham in the old adage - udal mannukku, uyir thamizhukku, aaana cinema-la whistle Rajini-kku) -
rombha unarchivasapattu commit panninutenoo?!!

My vote for VA - ***** (which translates to the DVD being part of my proud collection !!) With this movie, I've become
an ardent fan of GVM among the few other thamizh film directors. He sure has elevated his craft status to th e likes of Sridhar, KB & Mani Ratnam in handling such sensitive subjects !! Thanks to GVM & crew for an honest painting of raw human emotions on the silver screen !!

The comments above are also "straight from my heart" !! Blog...ku blog maaadhiri irundhaa mannichukko BR !!

Hawkeye said...

maxD,

when vijay/ajith/rajini jump 5 stories high and kick a villian or make a baddie fly 5 billion miles with a single kick - we kindal adichufy them. when gautham does a similar 'laagical' jump (although much more gauravam than jumping 10 buses in a single bound) we have to kindal adichufy.

Prakash,

as i said - the visa part was unclear and the whole scenecould have avoided/ done differently. That is because most people who have been in ffront of a visa interview would not like gautham's depiction of it (even if its true).

vivek,

i did not say it was impossible to have a such a father-son relationship. i said it was relatively rare (and less identifiable at a 'mass' level). i did acknowledge that i too had a similar cool relationship which is why i liked the movie in the first place.

on berkley note: i Amodhichufy your vayatherichal. however, i have never seen a non-IITan go to berkley in the 90s. not to say non-IITans have never gone there. just that I haven't met anyone. mathavanga ellam berkley cigarrete dhaan.

raghu,

you should start a blog. regarding the girls who were sitting in fron of us - adutha post adha pathi dhaan.

Raghu said...

aaaahhaaaa 'Hawkeye' I chose to interpret it like "vasishtar vayala brahmarishi pattan vaanginaappolarukku" and not like "indha raghu comment ezhudhama....oru blog-ae anuppi irukkan"..:) !! thangal aaasiudan -dhooo varen......blog ulagathukku....:) !!

I wrote a much longer analysis/com ments but had to cut it short as I thought there were word restrctions before it gets posted. Needless to say, I have a lot more to say abt VA....(usually have something to say abt anything & everything)....mikka nandri...hai !!

gonna take the liberty of fwding yr blog site to a few selected friends back home...!!

keep it real BR !!

NIRMAL said...

Hi Hawkeye,
Nice observations of the movie!

But to be honest, only Indians in US or non immigrant workers or professionals who have onsite aspirations would know the funda of H1B,RL1B,F1,H4,L2 whatever!

for most of the people (major crowd) watching i am very sure they hardly know what exactly is B1 or its 90 day validity. Visa interview scene was really funny. I guess anyone in real life would ever say such things but thats fantasy part of movie

I guess we can forgive GM for that!

"So if this theory is right, this movie will not click. But its a damn good movie."
This is really true!!

This movie is made shorter and now many say the movie is better , unlike FDSS experience!!

Raghu said...

And then some (more) on VA:

Can't stop thinking more about VA & cont my praises - am astonished to note that everytime I think of a few scenes, I find plethora of human emotions - structured in layer after layer by GVM. It is like am scratching the surface to find new meanings to some scenes. Maybe GVM did not visualize the narration and screenplay when he scribed it - nenappu dhaan pozhappa kedukkudhaam :) !! In my books, this will go down as a 'classic' Thamizh movie of all times.

Simran's underdoggish yet brilliant performance truly deserves a seperate post in itself. Filled with nuances
of emoting with body language & eyes comes after years of practice. A little glance here, tilting of her head
there, raising/contracting her eyebrows, consistent decibel level in her tone (during joyous & depressing times), acting when she was silently reacting to characters around her - Simran completely outweighed her other performances in the past by miles, & left them to dust. In the process, am hoping she rediscovered areas of her untapped potential in her acting talents. It was a sheer joy seeing her raise the stakes for herself & other contemporary actors.

She joins the esteemed company of other character actors who have essayed such roles like Savithri, Srividhya, Shobha, Tabu, Poornam viswanathan & Prakashraj, to name a few !!

She has raised the bar for other actors who don such strong character roles - watching this would be like a tutorial.
As my 'dad' often used to tell me "I can only take the horse to the water, it is upto....", am really wondering how
much of a lead GVM would have given to drop these performers 'in the zone' before the camera starts rolling.
Am so glad GVM chose Simran to play the mother's character (after Tabu rejected one more feather to her colorful cap !!), what is Tabu's loss is truly Simran's gain !! She really lived her character - to say the least !!

I was so impressed by the novelty GVM brought to this movie by making the performers (espec father/son duo, mother) directly act/emote into the camera as the character itself. I haven't noticed this in Indian cinema before and thereby making it all the more challenging for both Suriyas & Simran to play out their respective lines. Both of them stepped up to the challenge (Simran certainly upped the ante in certain scenes & stole Suriya's thunder & made me go "Sabash - seriyaana potti" like P.S Veerappa
in Konjum Salangai or Kamal going "Sabash....Bale" after hearing Sridevi's bro's thaniyavardhanam in Meendum Gokila !!) voratiously and came out
with flying colors !!

One thing that struck me about REC-T marks part, my perception is that GVM prepped the audience by making Sameera's char as someone having a brilliant academic track record to deserve an admission into UC Berkeley - CS program.
I haven't gone to grad-school in the US but I have heard UCB's CS program is rated as the best in the US and is not for fickle minded poor performers in their under-grad, to get an admission !! Sounds logical, eh?!!

I read in an interview GVM wrote the screenplay after his 'dad' passed away and weaved his real-life incidents and gave life to the characters - hence the comparison to Forrest Gump. So going by that logic, GVM deliberately under-played the sister's character and made it a purely father/son relationship movie.

Some of the commenters are pulling judgmental statements out of their bollocks but I agree with Vivek, as I witnessed father/son as a pure friendship rather than a parent/son during my college days (mid-late 80's). So it does
exist and was an eye-opener for me as a teenager !!

I really wish GVM had joined to watch it with us in Seattle on Sat like Suriya did in San Jose/MV and had a ques/ans session with the audience like the famous cable prog "Inside The Actors Studio" by James Lipton (hope Vijay TV starts something like this in the near future !!).

Looking forward for GVM's next release - Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikaalam !! Am ready with my biggle...!!

Abhishek said...

Hmm VA...why did i get the feeling that GVM fooled himself and the audience into thinking it was a movie of a father son relationship..the movie had big time screenplay problems..the movie was basically about surya(son) finding his real motive in life..it wasnt the daddy kiddo talk at all..gautham in the trailer clearly pointed out that twas abt a man on the verge of his life..it was all about the kiddo surya..and krishnan was jus there to tell him a oik to whateva he wanted to do..and it ends up being an ode to his dad..GVM failed there in settin up the movie i felt.Screenplay la anga anga nariya sothapals..A non rehab coming outta drugs seemed outta place..then the sudden want to join the army..all of a sudden..jus coz he won a bravery award. Its oik that he realised that police or army was his chosen path after savin the kid..he realised this is fine with me..but then no inspiration..jus out of the blue am goin to the army..GVM stuck to his theme..a sincere and honest effort..betta than the run of the mill movies that come out of tamizh cinema..3 on 5 only..its not awesome.its good.plus Surya rocked. and Mech Rocked:D
A lotta influence of Namesake, Lakshya, Forrest Gump i felt. GVM should have thought more into it. A wee bit more and it would have made all the difference..the final 15 mins were really shown because the movies screenplay was driven arnd the dad surya!neways!GOOD ONE GVM!

Anupadmaja said...

Raghu ... evalooooo periya comment?

Sarang said...

Hawkeye,
I don't think this is GVM's better movies. Dialogues were a big let down. Don't know why the Guitar surya sings 'Kisiki Muskurahaton Pe' looked completely out of place.

And 'Daddy' and 'Kiddo'? What's going on? I couldn't finish the movie. Won't get back to it either.

Anonymous said...

Surprising that you liked it! It was difficult to sit through the whole movie. The only thing I liked in the movie was that one dialogue about writing letters and the way it was said. I kept wondering whole of the movie why two helicopters were needed. May be rent one get another half off deal!

Attempt was to make it a ballad and it turned out to be banal.

- Ramesh

Prasanna said...

Hi Hawkeye,

I have not watched the movie but for sure that your comments will help to watch some of the good moments in the movie. I just felt some relevance to an article I read recently with that of your movie comments. Pls, peep in if you have time. It is about " how to write a story?" by Amarar Kalki.

http://www.desikan.com/blogcms/?item=142&category=books

varanam ayiram sucks said...

This is the worst film ever made in Tamil. Dont go and watch it fucks sucks. The film is full of dull faces (shit wtf) the old surya is like donkey. simran looks like a dull old beggar. the young surya just gets slaps from villains. total waste of body building and all bullshit. The whole fim is a cricket commentary where Surya blabs daddy daddy! fuck fuck this movie. anyone who makes comments ‘I like this movie, superb’ etc are out of their mind assholes. You cant sit in theatre for the full movie. gautham menon stinks throughout the movie.

Anonymous said...

this is the shit man. not a movie. it sucks donkey balls. assholes who made this movie, ara loosu pasanga