1000 elephants for titlesake
Vaaranam Aayiram is a movie with can relate with every audience. At least that was what promised by the marketing team. But I refuse to agree with that tagline. It’s not a very practical movie but it deals with some practical decisions one takes at any given stage of life. I have not seen any (Indian) father to let go his son’s hand to do some crazy stuff. Neither have I seen a family in which everyone takes anything, from demise to remorse, lightly. It could be an ideal one, but it would take generations to nurture such nucleus family which is comprised of only 4 people and never care about the society.
Warning: Story Spoiler ahead
Krishnan (Surya) is a just-another-guy kind of person who lures Malini(Simran) with his utter craziness. He sweeps her off her feet and they fall in love. They are gifted with Surya (Surya) and Shreya(an Allakai). Surya adores his father like any other child and his father is his hero…again like any other father. At every stage of his life Surya is fueled with inspiration by his father. Surya falls in love with Megna (Sameera Reddy) head over heels. Determined to win her heart, he follows her trail to Berkely University in US. Enchanted by Surya’s crazy love (like father like son), she falls for him. She falls victim for not only Surya’s love, but also for a terror strike and expires her call sheet. Broken Surya resorts to drugs, dhaadis and long mudees(hair). Priya (Divya) comes into his life. The rest of the movie is about how he picks up his life and puts the pieces back and moves on to lead a happy and successful life. “No matter what happens, Life has to move on…” advices the father Surya.
The movie is Surya Sivakumar all the way. Throat cancer affected father Surya, 60’s college student Surya, teen age Surya, Sameera staker Surya, road side detective Surya, Major K Surya, family man Surya and 6 pack Surya have all been packaged as one super 3 hour deal called “Vaaranam Aayiram”. He has discovered the actor in him. He has exceded his performance as Anbuselvan IPS in Kaakka Kaakka. I can’t help comparing the Neruku Naer Surya with Vaaranam Aayiram Surya. He has improved in all departments of the actor business namely: Body, body language, dance skills, stunts, dedication, flexibility, expressions, adaptability and learning ability. (Thank god, Sarath kumar was not roped in for the role of Father and Son!) But why has he spared the shirt and bared the body in many possible scenes. Just because money has been spent on steriods and personal trainers, he appears in bare body in disconnecting shots.
Simran Bagga, has faced the arc lights without make-up I guess. Though her 60’s costume and hairstyle doesn’t fit her into the teenage figure, later in the movie, she fit in perfectly as (only english peter vuttufying) housewife with ease. Her expressions were of a corpse and her acting talents (which never existed) continues to be lost. Simran sans glamour is freaking nightmare to watch: reality check.
Sameera Reddy is super sweet and super hot. She is pleasant to watch in the screen. She hasn’t got much to do in the acting department. But she serves the best as the eye-candy. Divya Spandana.. wait a minute, I derive pleasure only if I call her by her ex-name “Kuthu Ramya”. Kuthu Ramya has not been offered a meaty role. But she has done neat job as a next door girl and a suited sweet housewife.
Harris Jeyaraj’s songs are not not only pleasing to ears; they have also been picturized and choreographed exceptionally well. I loved the song “Ava yenna…Anjalai…” I loved the part where Surya dances to forget his lost-lady love simultaneously portraying his inability to control his tears and pain.
Most reviews claim the movie to be a drag, post-intermission. I would say its a drag all the way. Just because its a Gautam movie, he has forcefully elaborated a kidnap sequence. And ya, also his special cameo appearance as the Military Informer is a forced entry. Any forced entry would give artificial makeover to practical storyline.
I don’t think its an extra-ordinary story, but its an untold story. Every person does consider their father as superheroes at two stages. Stage one lasts from kindergarten to Teenage. Stage two is after the demise of the father figure. Between these two stages, most people consider the father to be an egoistic maniac kindergarten cop who duals as the only free ATM (Any time Money Machine). I am not surprised to hear that Gautam made this movie only after he came to stage 2. Its only then he also changed his name as Gautam Vasudev Menon. Earlier it was just Gautam Menon, sans Vasudev even as initials. I would call him a hypocrite. If he had adored his father, he must have expressed his love while he was alive which many of us (including me) never do.
And finally why the name “Vaaranam Aayiram”? Tax purpose? Towards the end, Simran narrates the line from Aandal Thirupaavai, to do justice for the title. But the complex tamil named, combined with Surya-Gautam combo have made headlines and it has lived up to its hype.
gAdvice: Watch once and archive the song videos
The IMDB page for the movie had all the casts mixed up. I was confused and on research I understood, that its an old page which was made for Chennaiyil Oru Malaikaalam.
Some interesting casting tit bits ripped from Wikipedia:
After the cancellation of Chennaiyil Oru Mazhaikaalam, originally starring Surya Sivakumar, Asin Thottumkal and Daniel Balaji, Gautham Menon, keeping the male leads the same, wanted to opt for a new heroine to begin Vaaranam Aayiram. Initially, Deepika Padukone was signed up and set to make her debut in Tamil films, however she backed out due to the inactiveness of the film and signed the Bollywood film, Om Shanti Om instead. Soon after another confirmed heroine, Andrea Jeremiah was dropped from the film for unknown reasons. Asin expressed her desire to be a part of the project, however the male lead, Surya, refuted her offer citing that she had walked out of his previous film, Sillunu Oru Kadhal and refused to act opposite her.
The producers then announced the film with Divya Spandana, who was making her comeback to Tamil films and Genelia D’Souza in the lead roles. Soon after the start of the shoot, Genelia decided to walk out of the film, after Gautham refused to pay the hefty salary that she was demanding and was receiving in Telugu films allowing Sameera Reddy to act in her first Tamil film. Simran Bagga signed and completed her shoots swiftly after she was selected to portray the mother of Surya, after Tabu had rejected the role.