Vinnai Thandi Varuvaaya, will you cross the skies and come (to me); is Gautam Menon’s latest offing with Simbu and Trisha in the lead, as all of us know. It also is the coalescence of Gautam with AR Rahman for the first time; ARR’s first Tamil project post his Oscars, Grammys and Golden Globes. Need there be any more reasons to set our expectations soaring sky high!
Needless to say, ARR doesn’t disappoint. Hosanna is a gift to all music lovers across generations. The intricate orchestration, the seamless transition from melody to rap and back to melody, the flawless rendition by Vijay Prakash, the haunting chorus by Suzanne de Mello [of Slumdog fame], the immaculate cinematography, the captivating beauty of Malta, the expressive emoting by the lead pair, and lastly the towering crescendo, all add up to make this a masterpiece.
Omana Penne is the next track that captures your attention, once you break the spell cast by Hosanna. The techno-mixed voice of Benny Dayal adds subtleties to the perfect orchestration. The Malayalam lyric by Kalyani Menon, and the Nadaswaram bit take the track lilting to perfection.
ARR amazes with the variety in the album, in spite of most tracks being melodious.
Mannipaaya, the title track and Anbil Avan convey the mood of the protagonists effectively. Aaromale is hailed as a masterpiece; owing to the haunting guitar, Alphons’s rendition, and the chorus; but it hasn’t struck a chord with me.
The background score is spot on, with it being dead silent at times, adding immense intensity to the scene. Gautam has exploited Rahman’s genius to the best possible extent. Its almost like I don’t miss the Gautam-Harris combo anymore!
Coming to the story [or the lack of it], it’s simple, straight and practical. Cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa [of Eeram fame] is truly enchanting and is complemented effectively by the background score. Be it the simple shots of Trisha’s home or the picturesque Alappuzha, Manoj excels in every frame. Dialogues are minimal and precise, but repetitive at times, as with the scenes. Trisha sets your pulse racing with her drop dead gorgeous looks throughout; and her portrayal of the indecisive woman [as mostly the case!] caught between her love for Simbu and her father’s dictum is worth applauding. Its unfortunate that Trisha isn’t able to dub in her own voice, even with Tamil being her mother tongue; and Chinmayee does well to compensate. Simbu’s underplayed performance is a welcome change from his previous finger-waggling, nonsensical-dialogue-mouthing roles. Ganesh, who comes as a cameraman, Simbu’s mentor and friend, is a breath of fresh air, and provides well-needed comic relief when the pace gets slow.
On the slop side, the scenes are repetitive and get boring at times. As a result, the runtime is high, about 160 minutes. Too few characters make this a monologue of sorts. Maybe it was meant to be so, as this is a narration of the lead character’s first love.
Overall, VTV is worth a watch, for the lead pair’s chemistry, ARR’s music and Gautam’s style. Strictly for the below 30 audience!