Film: Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

While in India, I had the pleasure of watching at least three films in a theatre. The experience isn’t vastly different from watching it in London, to be honest. Same level of enthu in the crowd, and similar levels of cynicism. Though the amount of noise in the theatre is spectacular. People constantly chattering on their phones, to the person sitting next to them and the like. In London, I feel alright asking people to shut up, but in Gurgaon, I am half scared that the person in question will crack my skull open with their fist.

One of the films I managed to catch was Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya. I’ll be honest, when I walked out of the theatre, I was tired, a bit annoyed and just wanted to go home and sleep. Some of it has to do with the fact that the film started at about 10 45 PM, and by the time it ended I wanted to curl up in the nearest cosy corner and sleep forever.

But thinking about it now, it was a beautiful film in parts. It’s lyrical, soft, with genuinely funny moments. The story is jagged, with no smooth edges – but you don’t mind that – in fact, the film makes sense only because it never quite feels like a love story. There are barely any characters in the film other than the two main people, but they are so well etched that it doesn’t matter.

Suffice to say – it’s the story of a torrid relationship between a man (Simbu) and a woman (Trisha). Funnily enough, Trisha’s character works well because it is seen only through Simbu’s eyes. That is, there are no scenes when he’s not present, or does not have some way of knowing what happened. It’s a more mature way of dealing with multiple narratives, making it obvious that this is only one person’s view of the relationship.

You see Trisha (who is perhaps the individual who brings in confusion into the relationship) as a person who has her reasons for doing things, even if the reasons are not made apparent. She doesn’t feel like a black and white character, you feel a certain ambiguous empathy for her. Simbu on the other hand – may have finally learned not to overact in every scene. He’s fleetingly naive, optimistic but easily heartbroken.

By the way, isn’t it delightful when the heroine in a Tamil film isn’t a goddamn college student of some sort?

The last forty five minutes of the film drag on rather endlessly. It gets interesting for thirty seconds, but by then the dialogues are so long, you just want them to shut up. I don’t have an issue with films that move forward largely through dialogue, but unless they are well written, and don’t become monologues it doesn’t hold my interest.

Despite that though, it’s a lovely film with fantastic music. One of the best numbers is Aaromale.

PS – On that note, while there’s the whole film within a film angle, not much is made of it, and it’s not really used till the very end of the film.

8 Comments

Filed under Music, Film and Art

8 Responses to Film: Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

  1. But I loved the way it was used in the end of the film. And “ambiguous empathy” is so right!

  2. i would watched it for peer pressure..but thanks for saving my time.. only good music isn’t worth spending 3/4hr..

  3. lekha

    hi neha,

    am reading your blog for the first time…from prem panicker to arnab to you ….. a sudden burst of nostalgia for a tamil movie brought me to this movie online, first part was likeable and rest a drag.simbu,a self proclaimed super star is a pain ……..

    but really enjoyed your writing,will follow you here on

    lekha

  4. I like veary much. it good love story.

  5. I liked the post. After a long, long time i saw a a tamil film story. I have no idea of what kind of work they are doing in tamil films. Is commercial cinema different from art films,or is it intermingled? Is tamil Film Industry original ?r is it just and extension or like to be Bollywood , kind of thing? Bollywood has also become so plasticised, boring and removed from reality only reflecting good use of technology. i would prefer an old indian film (50’s and early ^0’s to new ones like My name is Khan.What is ur opinion

  6. but from the trailer it looks the movie has classy cinematography and the styling of the hero and heroine is also good. Yet to watch the movie.

  7. Komathee

    Trailers gave the impression it is movie of two lovers only. But watching the movie made me lose my mind agin after a long time in my life. I have yet to come out of the love feeling the movie brought out in my mind.

    It is a movie that triggered the feelings I could not share. In a way there is no such love in my life. Though there was true love in the story; family, culture, society and individual commitments can change outcome of the love. Usuallly love is expected to end in marriage and does not happen to many. Even if it does, like in this movie situations can change and bring out the climax of the movie. But in true life, it could be successful or tragedy…meaning the marriage lasts for short period with hurt for some.

    The movie showed more then one ending…making me wonder if ever movies are the expression of feelings experienced by the storywriter, director, producer…whoever triggers the story…?

    I really liked the movie as it was simple, stirred my feelings, made me wanted to be loved and also made me wonder if all girls react in the way Trisha does when it comes to love crossing all boundaries?

    It was like watching an english movie but in Tamil.

    Lovers are always friends as shown in this movie.
    No-one was blamed or hated…Success or failure in love…..Life goes on…and such all of us have to move on in life…..

    Please keep on giving all those soft hearts like me such movies please…..

    Would like to thank all those who worked towards this movie……

    Carry on the good work.

  8. Love your writing. Makes me want to write again.