Kaatru Veliyidai – Tamil Movie Review

Production: Madras Talkies
Cast: Aditi Rao Hydari, Delhi Ganesh, Karthi, KPAC Lalitha, RJ Balaji, Rukmini Vijayakumar, Shraddha Srinath
Direction: Mani Ratnam
Screenplay: Mani Ratnam
Story: Mani Ratnam
Music: AR Rahman
Background score: AR Rahman
Cinematography: Ravi Varman
Dialogues: Mani Ratnam
Editing: A Sreekar Prasad
Art direction: Sharmishta Roy
Stunt choreography: Sham Kaushal
Dance choreography: Brinda
Singers: A.R.Rahman, A.R.Raihanah, Arjun Chandy, Chinmayi, Diwakar, Haricharan, Jonita Gandhi, Nikita Gandhi, Raja Kumari, Sathya Prakash, Shashaa Tirupati, Shikara, Tejinder Singh, Tipu
Lyrics: Madhan Karky, Shellee, Vairamuthu
PRO: Johnson
Distribution: Sri Thenandal Films

How many times have we seen a love story from Mani Ratnam’s stable? He pushes the bar a notch higher whenever he does one, filled with something fresh every single time. Kaatru Veliyidai is the latest entrant to the romantic collection of Mani. So what’s different this time? The characters for sure, the premise and of course the treatment.

What makes Mani Ratnam special is that he comes up with some well-designed characters that stay with us long after the film ends. Here again in Kaatru Veliyidai, even after all these years, Mani has two absorbing characters for us to goggle at. At first, you may not understand them, you may, in fact, hate them for a moment but with time we get more involved.

Mani Ratnam’s characters are never perfect as they have their share of negatives. Despite their flaws, you would love them and that is how beautifully sketched characters are officer VC (Karthi) and Dr. Leela (Aditi).

Karthi looks in his ostentatious best. He plays a fighter pilot, a role that you see being performed in Tamil cinema once in a blue moon. A pilot who undergoes so much of mental trauma. More than the trauma, it is his personal in born character, a self-centered young man, who likes no one but himself. That said, one might feel that Karthi is a little less natural in romantic portions.

Leela (Aditi), a doctor who falls head over heels in love with officer VC, a not so stable person. She is at constant pressure, dilemma and there is too much going on in her head. How she handles herself? Is she mentally strong enough to face her problems? This character faces a lot of challenges. So not an easy deal to play Dr. Leela and for a non-Tamil speaking girl like Aditi it is an even tougher job but she has played it well.

There is this one dialogue that describes this movie in nutshell. When Nidhi (Rukmani), tells to Illyas Hussain (RJ Balaji), “I like you, you like Leela and she likes VC but VC likes only himself.” VC likes only VC, yes that’s what the whole subject is about, how love changes an uncaring selfish man’s life.

Technically, Kaatru Veliyidai is a marvel. We spoke enough about the 2 lead characters but even the loftiest adjective is not good enough to describe the amount of value addition that these two silent heroes have brought into this script through their music and visuals. Yes, we are talking about AR Rahman and Ravi Varman. The songs have already become a part of people’s daily playlist and when seen on screen with the visuals, it gets elevated a lot. BGM is another stellar.

Kaatru Veliyidai is a classical poetic love story. It is not a film to watch but something to experience. An experience that not everyone would accept. Some may blame it for being sluggishly made but some may fall in love with it. There are plenty of silences, classic old school close-ups and slow-motion shots. Some might find it mawkish but some may enjoy that treatment too.

However, the screenplay is not gripping enough to move the story forward. There are some slack moments which make the audience a little restless. But if you are a fan of slow paced love stories, Kaatru Veliyidai may work for you.

Verdict: Strong Technicalities and Mani Ratnam touches make Kaatru Veliyidai a worthy watch.

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