November 14, 2008

Vaaranam Aayiram - ahh, lets make that 500

Back in 2006 when I wrote about Peralagan I titled the post "Surya. Wow". That could be a very fitting title for this post as well.

I managed to watch a charity preview of Vaaranam Aayriam (Thousand Elephants) yesterday (with Gautham, Sameera and Surya attending *squee* )
I had high expectations for the combination of Gautham Menon, Harris Jayaraj and Surya. To make it short. Not all could be satisfied.
Inspired by the relationship with his own father, Gautham tries to tell the story of a father-son relationship told to us by the son (Krishnan and Suriya both are played by Surya) in flashbacks. We are led from the 60ies when the parents met to present times.

My tiny problem with the storytelling is that the focus too often shifts from the father-son relationship. Especially in the second half. There are some episodes in the sons life that are just too long and distracting. And sorry, but the climax military thingy is plainly bad. I really hope that the Indian Special Forces are nowhere near as amateurish.

But. Big but. The first half is great. I luuurved the song picturisation. Especially the 60ies and 80ies songs. In fact the first hours or so I felt I was watching an almost perfect movie. Great storytelling. Perfect tempo. Cinematography is beautiful. SFX are the best I´ve seen in an Indian film so far. And I felt the "historical" bits were so sweet and authentic in acting, design, flair, feel.

And the biggest treat is Surya. He really nails it. The 16 year old as well as the 60 year old. Sometimes I almost forgot that this was one and the same actor just in different getups.
Well what can I say? He has been my favorite southern Indian actor for quite a while now and I think he is fast climbing to the top of my "All-Indian Fave" list. Watch out Sanjay/Nana/Atul!
And [fangirlmode on] he looks smoking hot. I still go by my quote from 2006 "He has that very attractive Umphh-factor of being a cool actor with intense eyes and a killer smile." And since he joined the 6-pack club for this film you can add that too (even if I felt the "Salmanitis" he displayed was a bit much) [/fangirl mode off]

But not only Surya was great. Simran is fantastic as Krishnans wife and Suriyas mother. Sameera Reddy surprised me in a good way and Divya was did wonderful

So. Watch it or not? Even with a few points of criticism. No Question. Watch it. For Surya. The great cinematography. The songs. The first half and parts of the second.

Oops. Almost forgot. Of course we need a disclaimer for this review as well. As I still don´t understand more than two Tamil words and the film obviously was without Subs I could only get the English bits of the dialogue. It was not too hard to follow the story though.

PS: I heard rumors that Gautham edited the second half some more since the first previews. I´ll probably go and watch it once more tomorrow, so I will be able to tell.

PPS: It´s confirmed. 15 minutes of the 2nd half have been cut. Reports tell that this helps quite a bit.


Aditya From Dubai said...

It should be surprising to you even after being an Indian ,we are totally oblivious of South Indian Film Industry,
Even Rajnikant is a stranger to us .The hindi Dubbed "Shivaji" Did not have any takers in Mumbai.
I really started watching dubbed tamil films only after reading some of your reviews,
I am really amazed the way you watch all Hindi movies also Tamil,Telugu ,may be German as well as English great.
I saw your review list can you make
one categories based on your reccommendations for the benefit of all your readers.
I actually congratulate you for your commendable work, Keep it up

rinki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sultan said...

looking cool.
Send Rakhi to India