Chekka Chivantha Vaanam Movie Review

Just prior to the release, everyone in Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam crew claimed that the ace filmmaker has gone back to the days of ‘Nayagan’. If you’re recollecting those words while walking out of theatres post-show, it sounds pretty true, but in a different dimension. The most celebrated auteur hasn’t gone back to those days, but bluntly has borrowed a same premise, when it comes to narrating a ‘Moral within a Tale’.

The film traverses through the lives of siblings (Arvind Swami, Arun Vijay and STR), whose desire for throne of their father (Prakash Raj) gets them through series of unexpected turns with Rasool (Vijay Sethupathi), a suspended police officer linked in them.

Whatever might a plot or genre, Mani Ratnam owns a style that remains unbeatable. Yes, his wizardry can never find a successor and so for his technical army – AR Rahman (Music), Santhosh Sivan (Cinematography) and Sreekar Prasad (Editing). They make sure that their captain’s brilliance gets much more adorned with their decorations. In particular, AR Rahman pushes you into another galaxy with his background score, which comprises mostly of the tracks we heard.

The greatest strength of the film, which in other words, the crowd puller is the star-cast, where Mani Ratnam has seemingly given more freedom their artists… Usually, you would find even a mass hero in a different dimension and mannerisms in his movies, but here, we get to see everyone sticking up to their routine style, especially STR and Vijay Sethupathi. The latter being always found with witticism through dialogues is something out of the box from Mani Ratnam’s characterizations.

The first half with 60 minutes doesn’t have much of action sequences, but yet it remains so much gripping. The reason is the establishment of characters and the drama that happens within the family. Just as we keep expecting more drama in the second hour, we are offered with some interesting moments, but not in full stretch. Say for instance, the chemistry between STR-Dayana and Arun Vijay-Aishwarya doesn’t look so promising, particularly with the former one. If there were couple of scenes intensifying their depth of love, it would have added more value to the proceeding. But then, it’s not about LOVE, but POWER, where the story travels.

Ranking performances, it’s Arun Vijay who has utilized this opportunity to a greater stretch followed by Jyotika. Naturally, Arvind Swami, STR and Vijay Sethupathi being spontaneous performances offer a fantastic work. But who tops them all are Prakash Raj and Jayasudha. In fact, it’s only their chemistry that works out when compared to others. It looks like Mani Ratnam has given his intense touch to that age group whereas the love between younger couple doesn’t impact us. Thyagarajan is good with what is offered to him.

Next highlighting about the film is dialogues, “Don’t pretend to be a saint by throwing a gun that doesn’t have bullets,” are something praiseworthy. Sreekar Prasad’s editing is the actual strength in many places, but somewhere the second half doesn’t look so much engrossing for one could predict the culmination point easily after a certain extent.

Overall, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam owns a top-notch presentation by Mani Ratnam, but when it comes to story, we have already seen such powerfully intense ones in his erstwhile masterpieces.

Verdict  : An idea borrowed from Nayagan, with bunch of star-cast and top-notch technical output makes CCV a decent fare.

  • Chekka Chivantha Vaanam Movie Review
3.25

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