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Movie reviews - Vaaranam Ayiram

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Aahaana

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Aahaana

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Posted: 13 November 2008 at 10:58pm | IP Logged
Cast: Suriya, Simran, Divya Spandana, Sameera Reddy Banner: Aascar Films, Photon Factory Released by: Cloud Nine Movies Story, direction: Gautham Vasudev Menon Cinematography: Rathnavelu Editing: Antony Music: Harris Jayaraj Lyrics: Thamarai, Na. Muthukumar
Art: Rajeevan
Review

Just how do you describe the journey of life and learning of one man, in an immensely fascinating and intuitive manner?

You do it the way Gautham Menon has done it - by drawing in all your senses and emotions on a canvas of poignancy that is called Vaaranam Aayiram.

Life is a circle. You are what you are made of and you are what you make of yourself. Thus is the story of Surya, son of Krishnan, who grows up surrounded by the one emotion and bond that is, these days, sometimes forgotten and often underrated – love. His father Krishnan is his hero, his icon, the example he has to live up to. His mother Malini is calm, grounded, strong; a pillar of all that a woman and mother should be. And Surya's inspiration for everything starts with their absolute love for each other.

It's a normal, happy family and the strength of the children comes from the inner strength of their parents. Surya and his sister enjoy growing up with parents whose only advice to them is: nothing is impossible, not if your heart is pure and your dedication complete. This advice goes beyond the usual schoolchild and teenager's academic stress, beyond peer pressure and beyond the emotional confusion only growing up can bring. The movie carries you on the strength of its narration and Surya is a child, becomes a teenager, then a young man on the verge of all the wonderful things life can give him, then a tortured lover, then a man emerging strong and at peace with himself, then a partner for life, then a true patriot and through all of this, a good son to good parents. In this journey, he encounters many things, many people; good and bad.

Meghna, the love of his life, the woman who made things bigger, brighter and more beautiful, even as she left him for a career and a future for herself.

Life's tragedies that can wreak havoc as suddenly as a crack of lightning.
Immense pain that is a human being's true test of strength – give in to the pain and perish or beget even more pain, only to emerge from it stronger?

New beginnings that are like warm sunrises after torrential rains.
Purpose and drive that keeps that spark in the soul alive and burning.

Priya and the hope in love which proves that love can never be lost, it simply moves spirits.
Cycle of life that calls for the loss of the physical self but shows one how immortal the self, thoughts and memories are.

Seems rather simplistic, doesn't it?

Just what we thought to ourselves before we stepped into the movie hall and were engulfed by the music and visuals and words of each and every character Gautham managed to paint in fluid colour. What we thought would be a boring, long-drawn melodrama ("The extraordinary story of an ordinary man; and no macho twist to the tale? You have to be kidding!" this is what we thought) turned out to be, at least in bits and pieces, the stories of our lives, with characters all of us have met or lived with at some point in our lives. Beautifully told and intricately woven, Vaaranam Aayiram is a tale on the backbone of realism and beautiful music.

Speaking of music, here is an orchestra of melodies that will at once make you laugh, become wistful of those oh-so-beautiful years and get into the verve and mood of the moment. From the background score to the situational numbers and of course, golden oldies sung in Gautham and Suriya's own voices, this music forms the structure of the entire movie and the attention to detail even while painting blending melodies is superb. Gautham Menon and Harris Jayaraj have brought in influences from the 60s and 70s, the restless rock age of the 80s, the fusion sounds of the 90s and the quietly confident original pieces of today.

Vaaranam Aayiram impresses visually, in terms of colour and environment, but perhaps this clarity is because of the clarity in each character and not so much in the actual visuals.
Editing-wise, this is probably the best work Antony and Gautham have done together. The story's flow is almost seamless and at no point will you blink and wonder at sudden gaps in the narration.

The actors are simply superb, in the sheer simplicity of their roles and thus, maximum impact. One just cannot pick a better actor than another because they are in their element in this movie.

Except Suriya, of course. He is nothing short of brilliant and it is no mere flattery to say that he has (while doing this most difficult job of being a father, teenager, young lover, deranged addict and a man with a purpose), simply risen to standards of histrionics far above the rest of the industry. The hurt rage in the underdog schoolboy's eyes; the gleam of love and enthusiasm in the young lover's gaze; the intolerable pain of separation and solace found in hallucinogens; the torturous path back to normalcy; the newfound sense of purpose and meaning; the rekindling of love and passions – this time, mature and lifelong; the closure of life's cycle (which is also the beginning of the same cycle for another)… all these emotions and nuances have been brilliant portrayed with his eyes and body language; so much so that even if this movie doesn't go on to become a box-office success, his work will be critically acclaimed for a long time to come.

Simran is Malini is, simply, Simran. Fabulous with her iconic representation of a strong, silent and calm mother.

Sameera is Meghna, the quintessential modern young woman, with career plans and dreams of her own.

Divya Spandana is Priya, who is the fragrant, yet tough flower that has always bloomed around Surya, but went unnoticed until he went through his own heaven and hell and came out stronger, more mature.

Every single member of the Photon Factory team and Gautham's regular band of filmmaking brothers – both the Karthiks, Rajeevan, Meghna… small, but noticeable roles…
All these characters made Vaaranam Aayiram complete, every step of the way.

Perhaps the only drawback of the movie is its length. At 3 hours, it's a daunting task to think about watching a movie as deeply introverted as this. But once the tale begins, there is no putting down THIS story. Especially when you glimpse many parts of the director's life through this movie – his own family, experiences growing up, his pain, his turmoil and his strengths. It gives one the feeling of coming just a little closer to the stars and seeing them for their fallibility as clearly as their sparkle.

It is impossible to talk about or "review" a movie such as Vaaranam Aayiram without turning it into a spoiler. So all we will say is, watch it, be moved, be inspired and be touched that after a long time, someone has made a movie which a is a beautiful blend of reality and fantasy and through both these realms, manages to capture the essence of a human being.

Source: Galatta.com
 
Have any of you watched this movie...??? If so then please post your own review hereTongue
So fare, it looks good, and some of the story lines seems to be GMs own biograpghy??Ermm Waiting to watch this movieEmbarrassed

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isaitamil

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isaitamil

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Posted: 13 November 2008 at 11:20pm | IP Logged

Starring: Suriya, Simran, Sameera Reddy, Divya

Direction: Gautham Menon

Music: Harris Jayaraj

Production: Aascar Ravichandran

Gautam Vasudev Menon's Vaaranam Ayiram is intended to be a biography of an ordinary man. What could have been a subtly told story turns into a sloppy fare with way too much of daddy-glorification and emotional I-love-you-and-I-see-you-in-everything-dialogues. However, this memoirs-of-my-dad would have been a wonderful watch if it did not adopt a schmaltzy narrative often, more often than you think actually, interrupted with songs.
Gautam has derived inspiration for Vaaranam Ayiram from his own life and hence the movie is by and large close to real life with only very few scenes seeming out of place. Like the middle-class Surya, whose dad struggles to keep up with his family's expenses, flies down to the USA in search of his love-at-first-sight Sameera - now that is far fetched. However, as clichd as his love might seem, his sufferings sound more genuine – a feeling that the 'Anjale' song only upsurges.

The movie opens with an older version of Surya, suffering from throat cancer, succumbing to his disease. With the bare minimum background score and subdued acting, the scene helps to mound the expectations for a few minutes. The news then is conveyed to the son, played by Surya again, who is on a defense operation somewhere in Kashmir. The rest of the movie is the son's reminiscences of his father – the son's role overriding the father's in the process, however.

The first half of the movie drifts away with nothing significant in the offing. In less than half-hour, it breaks into two songs. Surya (dad/son) falls in love twice and loses the love of his life. The second half, however, spruces up with the kidnap episode and the journalist rescue operation.
 
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Vaaranam Aayiram is an out and out Surya show. When the man disrobes his tee to flaunt his rippling muscles acquired after hard slog, the ladies scream their lungs out. His subtle expressions after losing out his dad to cancer score as good as his screams and emotional turbulence after losing his girl. Surya Senior's makeup screams for attention, though.

Simran comes a close second with her puffed eyes and refined articulation of emotions announcing that she is ageing gracefully. Sameera has a constant grin, which is adorable. But all she could come up with after seeing her stalker at her doorsteps in the US is a surprised expression after getting a scoop of her favorite ice cream unexpectedly. Surya – Sameera's first meet in the train is well conceived and executed. Divya, however, is in her quietest form oozing loads of sophisticated attitude.

There are touching and heart-warming moments in the movie; however, they are few and far between. Like the scene in which the cancer patient dad expresses his helplessness in telling stories to his grandson since his vocal chords no longer support him and Simran's emotional silent outburst when she is being told that her husband is about to start his final procession to the burial ground.

Harris' music complements Thamarai's lyrics with almost all songs, albeit termed as interruptions, hummable. And as Sudha Raghunathan breaks into the Anal Mele song in her unconventionally mellifluous voice, the movie's sluggish pace is curtailed. Adiye Kolluthe, partly rendered by Shruti Hassan, seems to mark the beginning of Tamil punk-rock.

The three hour long movie advocates non-smoking heavily and hits the smokers hard with the harsh reality of its consequences – cancer, for instance.

Verdict - Surya show!

isaitamil

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isaitamil

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Posted: 13 November 2008 at 11:22pm | IP Logged

movie might do well for a week or two in A Centers dont think it will do well in other Places.

kadhambari

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Posted: 14 November 2008 at 12:27am | IP Logged
Thanx meli & prabhu 4 reviews.............im going 2 watch it in theatre,lemme post my views after dat.

Vani19

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Posted: 14 November 2008 at 1:37am | IP Logged
Thanks Meli & Prabhu for the reviews.............I'm planning to watch it in theatre too....Day DreamingDay Dreaming

sankadevi30

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Posted: 14 November 2008 at 1:44am | IP Logged
two diff reviews

thanks meli & isai

let me see & tell u guys abt this movie soon

Dits

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Posted: 14 November 2008 at 5:28am | IP Logged
I don't think its going to do well in B and C centres....a lot of Hindi and English dialogues, I heard!
 
Simply hope it does well!!!

Aahaana

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Aahaana

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Posted: 14 November 2008 at 6:40am | IP Logged
Originally posted by isaitamil

movie might do well for a week or two in A Centers dont think it will do well in other Places.

 
Its remind me of our bet bro....VA better become a hitAngry as i cant lose to u broLOL 


Edited by meli - 14 November 2008 at 6:46am

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