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Varanam Aayiram – Movie Review

Posted by Saipradeep on November 16, 2008

Language:    Tamil

Genre:         Melodrama

Cast:           Surya, Simran, Divya, Sameera and others

Director:      Gautham Vasudev Menon 

 

After several postponements, Varanam Aayiram has atlast hit the screens on 14th November 2008 and sources say that this is one of the Best box office openings this year.

 

I watched the movie at Mayajaal on 14th Nov or was it 15th Nov, because the show slated to start at 11:40 PM actually took off only at 12:15 AM… yes, there are no typo errors and it is indeed 12:15 AM)

 

Gautham has given a movie straight from his heart as this movie is a tribute to his father who passed away last year. Varanam Aayiram is a movie showcasing the relationship between a father and son and how the father plays a pivotal role in shaping up his son’s life through all his ups and downs. This movie is autobiographic in nature where the son, Surya (Surya) recollects his life’s story in front of the audience.

 

Surya plays double role in this movie, both as the father (Krishnan) and son (Surya). The movie starts with Krishnan, diagnosed with throat cancer succumbing to his disease when Surya, his son and a Major in Indian Armed Forces is on a mission. Surya is informed about his father’s demise during the mission and the rest of story is set up as a narrative from Surya during his flight to mission destination.

 

Flashbacks – Surya remembers that right from his birth; he has always looked upon his father as his hero. Krishnan, a middle class central government employee is more of a friend and a role model to Surya. Surya is more attached his father than his mom Malini (played by Simran). He has a happy life with his family, which also includes his sister Shriya. Surya is fascinated by his father’s stories of romance with this mother and how he fell in love with her and won her heart. Malini, fondly recollects many a times in the movie, “He swept me off my feet”.

 

There are a few minutes of school life of Surya where he has a scuffle with an older guy about a girl and from there on the script moves to his college life where he joins Mechanical Engineering at Moogambigai Engineering College, Tiruchy. (People who are familiar with Gautham Menon’s life can recollect that he too is a Mechanical engineer from the same college). Surya spends a typical college guy’s life, watching movies, playing cricket and having arrears. On his way back to Chennai, after his last semester exams, he meets beautiful Megna (played by Sameera) and falls in love at first sight. He pulls out his guitar, sings “En iniya pon nilaave”, a famous Tamil number and proposes to her on the train. Megna, though impressed, rejects saying they have just met and there has to be a lot of talking and knowing each other before she can fall in love. Constantly disturbed by Megna’s thoughts, Surya goes to meet her at her home where she tells him that she is a top notch student from REC, Tiruchy and is moving to Berkley University, California to do her MS in about a week’s time. Surya, who says that he is hit by “thunderbolt” tells her “I will come into your life and sweep you off your feet”.

 

The movie then moves on to a phase where Krishnan has a minor heart attack, a resultant of his smoking habit. Surya realizes his dad’s financial crunches and looks at helping the family out of it. He sets up a business, runs it successfully, completes the construction of their home, repays his fathers debts and in the mean time remembers to get a Visa to go to the United States to convince Megna. He has complete support and backing of his father and mother to fly to US and find Megna.

 

The next few scenes are filled with best part of the entire film. Surya flies to US and finds Megna, which is followed by some beautiful romance between the two. Megna finally says that she is in love with Surya at Fort Point, a place that offers the much required romantic backdrop of the Golden Bridge in San Francisco. The scene is so powerful that you feel the romance tug your heart.

 

As a part of her project, Megna goes to Oklahoma for a couple of days and is killed in a bomb blast that happens in the FBI building. Surya torn by this loss calls on his parents from US and his lament brings tears to your eyes.

 

On his flight back to India, he meets Shankar Menon who tries to console him by sharing his experience of his loss of his father. In India he meets Priya (played by Divya), his sister’s best friend.  But being unable to move on, he starts on drugs. Krishnan and Malini try breaking him off this habit and in course send him to Kashmir to rejuvenate himself. There he learns that Adithya, Shankar Menon’s son has been kidnapped for ransom in Delhi. He goes to Delhi to console Shankar and sees that the police have a lethargic attitude towards this case. He takes matters into his own hands and attempts to find the kidnappers. He gets on the streets and after a few days of roaming and gathering of information, he locates the kidnapper and rescues Adithya.

 

Back home, Surya finds a new bond of friendship with Priya. One day she proposes to him but he does not respond. Surya then decides that the only way to forget the pain in his life is to channelize it into a positive force and takes onto strict work out routine. His six-pack figure is an outcome of this routine. He later joins the Indian Army. Six years later, Priya again meets him and proposes and this time he accepts and gets married to her. Krishnan meanwhile is diagnosed with throat cancer and is operated upon. Surya is then called on a sudden rescue mission and it is during this mission does Krishnan dies back home.

 

The climax is truly moving with Surya breaking down and Malini consoling him by quoting Krishnan: “What ever happens, life has to go on”.  

 

The movie is technically state of the art. Camera work by Ratnavel brings California, Dehradun, Rameshwaram and Delhi right in front of your eyes and adds to the richness of the film. The 60’s feel in the beginning of the movie is aptly portrayed by Rajeevan’s art work. Anthony has done an awesome job in his editing role for this autobiographical film.

 

Surya steels the eye with his six-pack and stuns you with his acting as an old man. If developing that six-pack was tough, it would have been tougher to have fitted into the role of a school kid. Surya has literally melted his body to appear and live as a schoolboy. There are so many transformations to Surya’s physical appearance that you are left wondering if it is the same guy who has acted throughout the movie.

 

Harris Jeyaraj has once again worked his magic for Gautham. His music along with Thamarai’s lyrics has added colours to this already vibrant movie. The first half holds four numbers while the second half scores two. The songs in the second half seem to mar the flow of the film never the less each song is a masterpiece both in terms of music and picturisation.

 

The first half of the movie keeps a very good tempo as it is filled with double romance, one between Krishnan and Malini and the other between Surya and Megna. The second half though seems to be a bit of a drag, particularly in the part where Surya becomes a large than life hero to save Adithya. There is also a definite feeling that the emotions of the father – son bonding are a bit over played.

 

The movie is for about 3 hours, a factor that is sometimes not very comfortable with a lot of audience. You can feel the audience slowing wriggling in their seats as the second half unfolds. The film definitely is a stand apart movie but looks like it is designed for the niche crowd rather than the average viewer. It definitely demands some amount of patience to sit through the 3 hours of emotional drama.

 

All said, the movie would definitely stay afloat, thanks to its awesome music and an extraordinary performance from Surya. This film defiantly breaks the routine hero worship movies and brings freshness into the movie house. On the whole, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie and it was a great new experience.

 

My ranking for the movie on a scale of 10 would be 6.

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4 Responses to “Varanam Aayiram – Movie Review”

  1. Daffodil said

    I thought the movie was done really really well.
    It was a very moving tribute & anyone from chennai
    in that age group could relate to something in the movie..

    It definitely felt like a movie from the heart though
    he introduces some artificiality by trying too hard to be a sophisticated
    film maker. There were just too many English dialogues, i come from a
    Mario Puzo quoting family too, but the forced English put me off totally..

    Though iam 8 yrs his junior, i totally enjoyed the ‘Raja Kaiya Vecha’ tribute and
    that whole adolescent surya part…:) To me , that was the highlight on the movie!
    Iam wishing for some lighter fare from him thats more Minnale than the life of a police officer.

    Also , being critical again..too many patterns..

    police officer – major part
    Bashing ppl going to the U.S of A
    Being a mechanical engineer
    A girl being the one who proposes and who says she wants to hug him/kiss him etc

    I hope he breaks away from this mould and gives us more variety..

  2. Amirtha Jagadegi said

    Please read this Review also :

    http://aliensofnec.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/varanam-aayiram-review-by-tvk/

  3. saipradeep said

    Hi Amritha, Sorry for the delayed response.

    The review you have suggested is definately something I would not agree with. Yeah, the movie does have its own glitches, but they donot glare as much as how this review suggests. I my opinion, Varanam Ayiram is one of the mile stone movies for Surya and Gautham. I am completly in for it.

  4. saipradeep said

    Hello Daffodil,

    Pretty late response from my end and I apologize…

    I agree with you in many fronts. The movie is definately a milestone for Surya and Gautham.

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