Cast: Silambarasan, Trisha Krishna and Ganesh
Direction: Gautham Vasudev Menon
The single most depressing bane of Indian cinema is its inability to pursue excellence, and this cuts across language and region. Scripts are shoddily produced. Often, situations are lifted and used with modifications. Gautham Vasudev Menon's Tamil work, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, is guilty of these.
Ideas from Dustin Hoffman-starrer The Graduate, Mani Ratnam Alaipaayuthe and some other screen romances find echo in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa. Obviously, the feel seems so cliched.
What is even more unfortunate is the movie's reaffirmation of prejudices: the man has got to be older than the girl if they are to marry, they must belong to the same religion and family verdict is supreme however hard and illogical it may be. Menon, who wrote the script, may have been influenced by pockets of such bigotry, but modern India, especially its young working class generation, is not really bonded to these kinds of narrow views.
Menon's love story begins with a Hindu boy chasing a seemingly reluctant Christian girl, whose trepidation primarily arises from the fact they belong to different faiths, and her father's no-no to their union. Despite the deep feeling she begins to nurse for him, she refuses to cross societal barricades.
Neither A.R. Rahman's music nor the performances contribute significantly to the movie. Lyrics are no longer written by poets as they once were, and the tendency to allow instruments to dominate voice, drowning it in the process, turns melody into noise. Add to this, the bizarre song picturisations with the characters flitting from one exotic location to another or emerging out of groups of sheer alien looking men and women. Sometimes, they are pale skinned, sometimes black! I fail to understand how these help carry forward the narrative; rather they cut the flow and roughen the motion and movement.
Finally, Silambarasan as Karthik wooing Jessie (Trisha Krishnan) appears in a new form, the romantic hero. But he is awfully wooden and seems terribly ill at ease, failing to evoke the passionate chemistry with Jessie that the movie sets out to capture in the first place. Krishnan is average, and does sparkle a few times, but Ganesh (as cameraman Ganesh) is delightful as the friend of the lovers, reflecting the pain and pathos of Karthik and Jessie. Some peppy one-liners cheer us up, but these alone cannot engage us through the entire run.
For all the hype a Gautham Vasudev Menon's work generates, his latest effort fails to cross the skies.