Though similar to Cheran’s autograph, this has Gautham’s signature all over it in big block letters.
Vaaranam Aayiram is an uncompromising film that’s all heart, indulgent and personal and that’s why you would be tempted to overlook the length, the pace and the overdose of voiceover that expressly overstates the obvious… It is somewhat strange when so much of it is spelt out in English and it does get to you when every sentence in the voiceover ends with “Daddy” but soon, you forget all about it and get sucked into another great moment.
The entire film is a collection of some truly great moments packaging nostalgia. And it’s the Suriya Show all the way as he turns in a career best performance as a father and the young man from 17 to 35. After Vaaranam, we can say for sure that he’s the best of the lot today. Here’s a guy who is content feeding the actor than the star in him and he revels in this role knowing pretty well that it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to do an ‘Aarulirundhu Aruvadhu Varai.’
The filmmaker seems to have a natural flair for romance and Vaaranam in many ways plays out as the Best of Gautham. So yes, this is a nostalgia film that is bound to give you a sense of deja vu. There are times when we are hit with a little ‘Minnale,’ and times when we get the feel of ‘Kaakha Kaakha’ or ‘Vettaiyaadu.’ Maybe because they were born out of his personal experiences at some level – be it the loverboy who pursues and woos the girl he met once against all odds (Minnale) or the dignified officer who’s being wooed (Kaakha Kaakha) or when he’s showing us grown up romance (like Vettaiyaadu). But it also reminds you of your own days back in college, your first love and your relationship with your Dad.
While most of the individual chapters work well, the problem areas in Vaaranam are those sequences that try to connect the different phases in the young man’s life – whether it’s the period when he buys a house overnight for his father when he’s yet to clear his arrears in college or the phase during his addiction, these are bits that are conveniently and quickly resolved within a couple of scenes each.
But then, this is also one of those few films that freaks the hell out of you about the consequences of smoking without trying to be a full blown message film about deaddiction and rehabilitation.
For a film about a father-son relationship, there is no serious conflict between the two ever (except for a brief exchange during his addiction) and the lack of conflict results in the film becoming an assortment of episodes rather than one seamless narrative. Though each episode keeps you adequately engrossed, the voiceover that ties it together is a little weak making you wonder how long is that damn chopper ride?
But then, just around the time you are getting a little restless, there’s a Harris Jeyaraj number around the corner all set to haunt and play in your head in a loop, till the next one comes along.
Simran is the best of the women – it’s a great comeback vehicle for one of the best Tamil actresses ever. Sameera should seriously stick to sarees, she’s never looked better (except maybe in that Pankaj Udhas video Aahista Aahista) and Divya Spandana is a natural. It is quite a task to make a film without a comedy track or a serious villain or a filmy conflict and Gautham has made a fairly engaging film that strikes a chord despite its imperfections.
dude..i like hatd the film. plz mention ‘normal public- don’t watch, critics-plz watch’.!
Hi Sudhish, I was like not able to sit through the movie.
While the movie overall was okay, there were lots of inconsistencies in surya’s look in the film.. Once he returns from college, his look keeps switching between the one he has on th train and the moustache look.. Should’ve been taken care of..
IMHO, the movie was a great concept gone completely wrong.
You’ve mentioned most of the glaring minuses (grossly overused voiceover, ridiculously excessive English dialogues, the length of the movie giving one the feeling that it will just not end) but they are more in passing when I’d expect you to rip the film apart just on the basis of those excesses..Btw, if in your opinion Vikram idolizing Prakash Raj in Bheema had homosexual overtones, then Surya’s daddy and kiddo are no better…
Have you ‘sold out’ (or) is it that you don’t want to believe that Gautam Vasudev Menon could have gone SO wrong (or) are you just being ‘nice’ to a good man? Pls tell me its the last…
More random ranting:
– if there is one major gripe I have about the movie, its the casting…If Dasavataram frustrated me because Kamal played atleast 2-3 roles purely to satisfy his ego and to make up the magic number of 10, then Surya playing the father in this movie just reinforced my opinion that every director in this industry panders to stars. A cinematic masterstroke would have been having Sivakumar play the father’s role but then, the least that Gautam could have done was to cast a Rajkiran / Nasser or any good character artiste. And y-t-h did we need to have Simran play that role? For one, it was a lousily written character and secondly, Simran was horrible.
– For a supposedly emotional movie, I can’t remember a single scene where I had a moist eye or a lump in my throat… and that says it all…Vaaranam Aayiram just made me realise how under-rated Autograph is.
the movie is disappointing and it never stirred any emotions which it was intended. The feel is missing. certainly not as expected.
The movie disappointed despite the hype given.We are expecting your original review on this movie.
sudhish i couldn’t watch the movie after 10 mins. it was horrible….gautham should stick to thrillers…the film would have clicked if he had used appa instead of daddy. It sounds funny every time surya utters daddy. Really messed up movie. Please dont compare this movie with autograph. Its insulting
Nice review. But personally I felt the father-son sentiment was artificial. There’s something about Gautam’s films that I find very wannabe-ish.
“Daddy” is acceptable as common parlance. Too many daddies spoil the broth…and the “hey kiddo”s were plain irritating.
There wasn’t a single moment in the feel, imho, that actually brought out a strong emotional bond between dad and son. Repeating “I love you daddy” every other time the flashback comes isn’t exactly convincing enough. With all due respect to Gautam intentions to do this as an autobiography, I feel he could’ve concentrated more on giving depth to the characters. Atleast the lead characters.
Something he could learn from a movie like Kannathil Muthamittal, by the director Gautam tries albeit in vain, to imitate.
2 brownie points to Gautam for splitting with HJ. The rerecording has to be the worst I’ve ever heard in a movie. Sam Anderson had better music 😛
Wow ! Almost all responses – with negative overtones 😉
I guess each one has his flavour.. I for one liked the movie – in spite – of its imperfections. Surya has done a wonderful job in portraying the character.. the movie focuses more on the feeling than the actual incidents – and that’s where I think, Gautham wanted it to be..