Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

Rant: First things first. I won couple tickets to this movie from some lucky draw. And because my brother attended the phone call informing about the win, he wouldn’t let me go with anyone else. Not that I have someone. Just saying.

Now that we’ve got that out, what about the movie?

VTV is possibly the most indulgent of Gautham’s films till date. He has been consciously indulgent before, and some of the usual indulgences continue in this movie. His male protagonist is still a Mechanical Engineer. He is passionate about things that Gautham is passionate about in real life. He is not a loser but you see his irresponsible side more often than not. But in this movie, more than others, the indulgence seamlessly integrates itself and the end product is quite charming. Rumor has it that this is Gautham’s own love story. Throughout the movie, he more than just hints at that with familiar props. It’s also pretty clear that Gautham doesn’t mind laughing at himself. It was not offhand, the references to Vaaranam Aayiram – “avara mari Tamil la English pesi padam eduka poriya?” or “Avan avan kadhal ku America ve poran” – and at the same time not forced into the script either.

With movies about romance where only the treatment and characterization can differ, Gautham scores with a lot of aces up his sleeve. The first half is sharply written and performed with Gautham’s love for everyday characters and pragmatic lines. Very few among the new generation directors understand the city bred individual’s sensibilities the way Gautham Vasudev Menon does. It’s no wonder that his inspiration is Mani Ratnam and though he may not be there yet(or never will be) he tries admirably well. None of the performances require any sort of intense portrayal or histrionics and yet the casting  is a wonder in a good way.

Simbu gives a nuanced performance never seen from him before. From the trailer I had problems with his dialog delivery but while watching the movie, surprisingly, it didn’t bother me at all. I wouldn’t mind to see him play similar roles or take up the road less traveled by self confessed Tamil film masala heroes. This movie, during this age, required casting masterclass the likes of Meera and Arjun of Azhutha Ezhuthu and in that respect, Simbu and Trisha perfectly fit in. Trisha looks her ravishing best and I don’t think she has ever dressed this well in any other film.

Gautham’s women characters have always been intriguing. And he assumes a lot of freedom with them. Jesse (Trisha) holds the oars to take the movie forward throughout. She is the woman this man has fallen for and the one who is expected to cross the skies for him. She is the one with all the problems within herself. But it doesn’t help that she is fickle beyond compare and cannot make a decision for herself.  ‘Bitch‘ is probably too harsh a word for her when the movie is over but she sure is modeled on a lot of modern day women facing similar problems in that age. And I would give Jesse her due because she tried longer (not harder) than anyone actually would in today’s times.

Hosanna is the only number that has great picturization. The other songs are not badly picturized but nothing to write home about them. The songs neatly fall into place and it is indeed magical for it’s Rahman’s finest work in Tamil cinema in a long time. Gautham’s understanding of Rahman and vice versa shines through. When Simbu sneaks into Trisha’s house under the moonlight to meet her and as the scene builds up, you can’t help but expect Aaromale to play. And then when you hear the familiar guitar riffs immediately following, it’s surreal. Predictability has never been this endearing.

The film disappoints when you get a deja vu feeling in the second half. Not because you’ve see the same thing in some other movie but because you saw the same thing in this movie. Events repeat themselves and since it is a character driven film, the subject required scenes with a strong purpose to hold the thing together. And this is where, in post interval portions, Gautham falls flat. This is the point where he has to reinvent Mani Ratnam but he fails. It is still a fine effort. VTV is a light romantic movie that doesn’t aspire for higher pedestals and delivers handsomely within its boundaries. That is why it’s a good movie.


34 thoughts on “Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

  1. Dude,

    It is an intense/romantic movie and I would say Gautam has done it again and lived up to its expectations.

    Yeah….if you could relate to Minnale and VTV, story wise it just goes with Gautam’s real life…a mechanical engineer falling in love with Christian girl. And if you add V1000 to it where in he shows Ramya/Suriya marriage in Mallu style…well it is quite clear about Gautam’s real life, he married his friend who was a catholic. Gautam inspires his stories from real life.

    Regarding songs pic..i think you are right…ommane penne i expected in a different way.

    Yet Another Good movie from Gautam!!!

    Adi: Agree, yeah!


  2. Not because you’ve see the same thing in some other movie but because you saw the same thing in this movie.

    prolly the best line you’ve written all year!

    Adi: Thank God it’s only March!


  3. Nice, well written…

    – but as i mentioned it in couple of places, the second half needed more fine tuning but it wasnt unjustified either. The repetition happens in life happens in such situations when the problems of first half hasnt been solved, but just overtaken. Personal experiences, i could relate well – and felt it was justified though could have been done well.

    Adi: Yeah, I didn’t have many complains. It has turned out quite good and fewer flaws than, say, Vaaranam Aayiram.


  4. Very well written to the extent of making me rethink about the movie.It took a lot of persuation for me to watch a Simbu movie but Gautham Menon and Rahman music motivated me adequately.I was quite disappointed with the movie for the same reason as things got repeated more than once and the movie never seemed to end.The second half dragged beyond limits except for the twist .One liners were good in spite of Simbu delivering them ! Really loved Trisha’s wardrobe at least it looked like the ones any of us could wear may be not look like her !

    Adi: Rethink? You hated it? I am sure there were a lot of moments universally liked in the movie. I liked the ending though.


  5. Really nice review wolfie! Your reviews have a very thoughtful and personal touch that make them very interesting reads. Nice nice :)

    And yes, the songs are awesome. Probably one of the few tam movies that I will want to watch this year.

    Adi: Thanks!


  6. Well written review. I agreed with every line – from the picturization of the songs to the characterziation.

    I was kinda waiting to see the movie just to see how Simbu’d do and he was good. He was himself. That’s how he talks and he was just being himself more than even acting, which I think is alright. I thought he did really well in that last scene in the park when he describes Jesse to herself.

    I am a sucker for happy-endings and I walked out feeling disappointed. But it wasn’t a bad feeling about the movie but just sadness at the way it had to end (I could relate to it).

    The thing with Gautham Menon is he makes (or tries to make) realistic movies. And so the tempo is a little slow because he tries to almost depict everyday as it goes, which is why the 2nd half seems to have interludes of repetition.

    Also, he seems to have this thing with making the female protagonist the one who makes the moves, the one who calls the shots. I’m glad, though, that he didn’t kill Trisha, keeping with his usual style! I still think Jesse was a little too fickle. Made all my guy friends go “Indha ponnungale ipdi dan”, echoing and reiterating a common sentiment.

    Bottomline: I liked the movie and I loved the music. Definitely worth a watch.

    Adi: wow one mini review you wrote!


  7. aiyoo, all the movies that i thought would get reject is getting good reviews, might have to catch this one now.

    Adi: Well it’s got mixed reviews. Not entirely great.


  8. Wonderful review! I loved the movie too..but the ending left me feeling hollow even though it was probably how it should’ve ended!

    Adi: I know, he kind of hit the home run with the bitter sweet ending. Completely lifted the movie.


  9. Two things..

    -Some songs n second half was a let down..may be I expected too much to be done with ARR’s music!
    -I think I like your review more than the movie! Nice written! :)

    Adi: Thanks!


  10. Most people probably echo your view, but I saw a lot of things that put me off. Acc. to me, it was a “Sumaar” only.

    To start with, maybe Simbu was nuanced. May be this was a performance that we have never seen from him. But I still cant get past the dialoque delivery.

    About GVM, couple of things. The lines seemed forced at some places, incl. the swearing at certain points. This is the same complaint i had with Vaaranam Aayiram (as someone pointed out, whoever says “kiddo”?). The song picturization was slightly sodhappal. I hated Hosanna, btw, especially for those almost topless firang guys.
    Small things, yes, but they irk, especially when you see the overall story, its realism and the opportunities that the script offered to make a complete movie.

    And about the ending. That’s good. Sure. Realistic etc. But what would you say of the preceding 10+ minutes? That killed the climax’s effect for me.

    After having said all this, what worked for me is the plotline, ARR’s background score and Trisha. Can I go ahead and say that this is the best Tirisha madam has looked so far? Of course some of the closeups, her makeup looked konjam odd (pale lipstick/gloss? Not working!), but the saris made her look gorgeous, just like KaaKha Kaakha elevated Jo! Only place her costume was a letdown was in the New York sequences. Standard issue really, with the ankle boots and the turtleneck top.

    I could go on and on about ARR’s BGM. Am just waiting to see if someone on the ARR Yahoo group will rip the BGMs off the DVD (when it comes out) for us!

    But idha sollu. Simbu & Kjo #sameguy. What say?

    Adi: I saw that picture also. I think I would agree!


  11. sounds like too crappy a movie to waste money on during these times.
    and somehow never was able to figure out what was so praise-worthy abt its songs. Am starting to like ARR’s latest work lesser each day.

    Adi: Sadly, you’re in the minority here. I agree with Abhinay.


    1. Are you kidding? This is rated as prolly Rahman’s best work in Tamil Industry in years!! The songs are fantastic and Ive been listening to them on an infinite loop ever since. They haunt you after a while!


  12. Nice review dude. Could relate to what you wrote based on how I felt after watching it first time … felt the songs were a bit let down (Gautham really has to get over those stupid black/white wierdos who just can’t dance in sync) and second half was dull … but … somehow I couldn;t get the movie off my head and it kept haunting …

    So ended up seeing it again and enjoyed it a whole lot more when I saw it the second time …. Liked the second half too and while I keep hearing news that the climax has changed or Telugu climax is happy, I kinda liked the original climax. Also I enjoyed all of ARRs BGM more the second time (except of the irritating Jessie you drive me crazy BGM …wish the movie ended with Aromale BGM instead of that crap)

    Nicely written… “still” a mechanical enggr …. ’Bitch‘ is probably too harsh a word for her when the movie is over but she sure is modeled on a lot of modern day women facing similar problems in that age…..

    All well written and I enjoyed reading it

    Adi: Thanks!


  13. Your review is more admirable than the movie itself. Beautiful. Anyway, I’ve watched the Telugu version and on a scale of 10, I’d give it a 5.5-6. Also, apparently the ending’s been changed a bit in the Telugu version, coz Naga Chaitanya’s dad thought the Telugu audience won’t like it.

    Adi: Yep, it has a crowd pleasing ending I heard.


  14. Ma only xpectation abt VTV was the chemistry b/w Simbhu and Trisha.. Cha.. its awesome..!!! worked a lot!!!! Then i wanna to tell abt Chinmayi voice for Trisha which makes a magic!!!! Great work!!! Cheers !!!!


  15. The only person probably in Chennai maanagaram not to have seen the movie. But the reviews are turning out to be entertainment in themselves. Yours is easily one of the best.

    Adi: Thanks! You have chutney for company. But watch it asap!


  16. Nice Review, although I don’t necessarily agree with everything. I watched the movie, skipped the songs. ARR was wasted here, I think. (I’ve listened to the songs on their own, and I loved them, especially Aaromale) And the story. Ah, the story. Where do I start? It seemed as though Mr. Menon forgot what he was trying to convey to the audience. Sure, women are fickle, but going back and forth between wanting him and and not, and breaking up because you don’t get a text back is something a girl would do at 18, not at 23. I think he tried to keep it real, but got lost somewhere along the way. It clicked with the audience more because when you compare it to the other masala-packed movies that have been released, this comes as a breath of fresh air. But only just.

    Adi: Disagree on all counts :) ARR was used very well I thought in the sense that the right songs came at the right time and the right BGM was used. About picturization, yeah, they were ordinary mostly. And about breaking up over an SMS, yes, that’s exactly how Jessie is. It’s not immaturity. It’s just fickle mindedness like you said. She was never sure about the whole thing. She was not happy with lying at home and she couldn’t decide if it was all going to be worth it. And the SMS incident and more pressure from the prospective NRI added to her problems. A gentle push was all needed for her to throw it away. And that incident provided that.


  17. totally agree with the Simbu portion. All the guy does in his regular movies is scream.Typical TR drama. I didnt mind Manmadhan( i hope this is the one? , with Jo? ) It was refreshing to see this side of him. Trisha looked pretty. I liked her character. Maybe this is the first time she is doing a good character as opposed to what she did in movies like Kuruvi ( Hated it! ).

    I read your review on 3 idiots. Movie is halfway downloading as i type!


  18. Very nice review. Totally agree about the length part. During the wedding scene just before the interval, I absolutely thought that the movie was about to be over! :)

    Though I don’t know what the big deal is about the songs. I didn’t like them much, except for Aaromale and Hosanna. Maybe the language difference?


  19. This movie is gonna haunt me for a long long time. Felt it contained so much of shades pertaining to my past.

    Weird thing I been doing. I hate the ending big time cos it left me with a heavy heart. But am still watching the ending again and again even though it is making me sad.

    Another scene I just can’t get over is the central park scene. Best romantic seen in a Tamil movie ever in my opinion.

    Trisha looked the best in this movie and Sari wears is all it took. Simbu gave a very mature performance and great work really. These 2 had a nice chemistry going on.

    No questions on ARR’s BGM and songs. Top notch work. The best I felt was when he fused in Indian music just a while during the Tamil wedding version at the last song. Breathtaking. To me that song was showcased so beautifully I can remember each scene within that song. Honestly seen the movie enough times to at least have memorized 75% of the movie scenes. :p

    Question I want to ask is I keep hearing the ending has been changed to a non-tragic one. Can someone please help confirm this and also how the alternate ending is like, if there is one.

    Thanks so much.


  20. have been obsessing with simbu’s performance in this movie for a while now… he just blew me away…especially since i’d seen the telugu version a day before and felt NC was so wooden and that the literal translation from tamil to telugu killed so much of the mood….

    the chemistry was good, the actors looked very good and believable…the mount was beautiful…other than that, nothing much of a story…hence the treatment was important… loved the central park scene… like i said… simbu blew me away…was not expecting this from an item song compulsive finger wagger!


  21. Aiyo, this movie was such a pain..i hated it! I just couldn’t bear that the same kind of tamil love stories. Why don’t people act a little mature in Tamil movies? Kissing scenes for the heck of it are soo silly!!


    1. Tamil movies are not silly.If they were, they would not have been recognized worldwide.Which other Indian language movies except hindi are as much recognized tell me… Don’t make such comments. It was a wonderful movie describeing real emotions.


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