Star Cast: Sarath Kumar, Vikram Prabhu, Raadhika Sarathkumar, Aishwarya Rajesh and others.
Director: Dhana Sekaran
What’s Good: Mani Ratnam’s understanding of love and relationships, Dhana’s direction and an amazing background score with a powerful and soul-stirring music album.
What’s Bad: Some lose plots that make no effect on the main story and the glue that was important to bind the parallels.
Loo Break: Only if your bladder is about to burst.
Watch or Not?: If you are someone who craves subtle South films that delve into interpersonal relationships, you are up for a treat. Also, isn’t Mani Ratnam’s writing a reason enough?
What begins as an act of anger, lands Bose (Sarath) in the jail serving a sentence of 16 years. Following which his wife Chandra (Raadhika) decides to take their kids away from the violent environment. The kids grow up and the three are far away from trying to build their dream life. Son Selva (Vikram) starts a small scale business and daughter Mangai (Aishwarya) is studying law and helps her brother in his business.
It is 16 years later that their father returns. Will they be able to accept their father? Will the father able to cope up with the fact that his kids are no longer children? What also haunts them is a ghost from the past. Okay, no more spoilers! Pakka!
Vaanam Kottattum Movie Review: Script Analysis
The beauty of Vaanam Kottattum lies in the portrayal of relationships. Mani Ratnam (who is also the producer) and Dhana Sekaran hold the writing credits. And you can clearly see the Ratnam touch to the script. It isn’t shouting at you to believe in the dynamics of the various relationships. Rather he is giving you subtle visuals and references to get on board with them. The part where a wife is waiting for her husband who is in jail, though she has her own complaints, she never stops loving him. Or the relationship between Selva and sister Mangai is bliss to witness. They never share great dialogue that will make us root for them, but still had my heart from the very first banter they shared.
Having said all the good things, I cannot ignore the loopholes. While the script is very rich in emotions and love, it takes a lot of time to set the base. The film promised shades of love but apart from Raadhika and Sarath’s story, the two other stories are initiated in the second half. Resulting in a lot being kept for the second half and in turn making it rush. The love dynamics, the emotions also the climax somewhere seem rushed and it is hard not to notice it.
Vaanam Kottattum Movie Review: Star Performance
The chemistry between Radhikaa and Sarath as Bose and Chandra is a treat to watch. Maybe the magic doubles up since the two are a real-life couple. Watch out for the scene where Bose returns from the jail and Radhika showcasing a dozen emotions breaks down. Pure acting, plus points.
Vikram and Aishwarya do an amazing job of portraying shades that they are expected to. The actors have their act in control and never let it spill which lights the screen. Special mention to Balaji Sakthivel who plays Bose’s elder brother and a guardian angel to Vikram and Mangai. The actor plays his part super well in the given layers and deserves the mention.
Vaanam Kottattum Movie Review: Direction, Music
This is one of those few times when I choose to talk about the music of a film first. The background music and the soundtrack by Sid Sriram and K Krishna Kumar is a pure treat. And I am in love with each and every song. The music somewhere has an AR Rahman touch to it and the opening credits even thanked him. The film treats its music like a character who is there all the time telling its story. In the above-mentioned scene where Bose returns from jail, the music takes the crescendo 10 times higher and I can write a thesis about this soundtrack ( which my editor won’t approve).
Coming to the direction, no one can take away the credit from Dhana to direct a script like this with responsibility. It is tough to portray relationships in real as they are on paper. You win there Dhana. Also, the camera work tries to bring the Ratnam magic and we can see that.
What it lacks is a glue to stick the parallel plots to make the audience feel anything about them. For example, while the sets related to Selva immediately are authentic, lived in and real. Whereas, the villain of this universe played by Nandha is in a drastically different set up which took me out of the experience. Why is he always surrounded by red lights?
Also, Preetha’s (Madonna Sebastian) plot is handled too loosely and makes no effect on the main plot as far as I have observed.
Vaanam Kottattum Movie Review: The Last Word
Vaanam Kottattum is a treat for music lovers, for people who understand relationships (a word used 200 times in this review) and for Mani Ratnam fans. Watch it to see how South cinema can also churn out subtle stories with the right amount of action.
Three and a half stars!
Vaanam Kottattum Trailer
Vaanam Kottattum releases on 07th February, 2020.
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