Stellar acting

Vaaranam Aayiram album cover
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I watched a Tamil movie after a long time – Vaaranam Aayiram (2008 release). The cast has Surya in a double role of father and son, Simran, Divya Spandana and Meghna Reddy and has been directed by Gautham Menon.

The storyline is simple. It’s about the strong bond that exists between a father and his son. The father has been an inpiration for his son throughout his life. When the son scrapes through college, singing and dancing his way, fighting with bullies, his father has been silently supportive. Later when the son gets into a decline after losing his first love, the father gently guides him back to sanity holding his hand, literally and figuratively.

Surya has done a stellar job. He’s a chip of the old block. I always considered his father Sivakumar to be one of the finest actors to grace the Tamil screen. This movie is mercifully devoid of tear-jerking scenes. The emotions come across subtly and creates a deeper impact. The scenes where the mother chastises the father for smoking in the hospital, or when the girlfriend is flumoxxed at the hero’s declaration of love on first sight are realistic.

Now the part where I had a hard time coping. The whole movie could have been a lot tighter. It was way too long (2 hrs 44 mins) and there were some absurd scenarios. I almost laughed out loud when the father tells the son to go to America just to get the girl! In an age where one goes abroad for better education or career prospects and not to win the girl and return to India this seemed corny. I’d also like to meet the consular officer at the embassy who grants visas for this reason alone!

Also in my opinion, there are too many Tamil movies out there that focus on love blossoming on campus, and couples hooking up in the name of love and pretty much nothing else. While I do believe “love is a many splendoured thing” and a grand emotion (I still read romance novels and write the occasional story) its a far cry from reality. To many, movies are a form of escapism from reality, but where does one draw the line?

One scene at the beginning of the movie just didn’t add up. When the son is given the news of his father’s death while he’s on a secret military mission (enroute on the plane), I’m not sure if this happens in real time. If the military were to convey deaths and births to soldiers on a mission, would it not detract from their course of duty? But here I go again, I’m thinking logically.

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