Where do you begin with this film. After watching Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya a million times, it seemed futile to watch the same story again with a different cast, even if the ending is different. But this is what happened and with the bluray copy sitting on the T.V stand at my house, a re-watch of this romance drama was all this hopeless romantic needed to start writing a flashback review.
The story is the same so while its silly to delve into it again, the reassurance you get is that even as new as Samantha (only one film old with Baana Kathadi and it hadn't released at the time of YMC) and Naga Chaitanya (the Josh debut was firmly in the back of our mind), the two deliver. Bright eyed bushy tailed, the two are raw, real and very much in sync with their character with their chemistry burning the screen. No nonsense of who has seen this and done that, just first take action. And for anyone that has seen the intereviews, the actors on any Gautham Vasudev Menon set would tell you that is what the director prefers. Individually, you cannot imagine anyone else for Karthik with Naga Chaitanya. Yes, Simbhu played it to perfection but unlike his filmography taking a turn with the film, Chaitu still had to form an opinion in everyone's mind. Perhaps its the expression he displays but one gets a very childlike perception in his portrayal. Thats not to say he was childish. But that innocence you relate to it, and beyond his age, there is a very young vibe from his character anyway. Samantha on the other was completely opposite in that there is a stern strictness that comes with age. She is delight to watch as she simply glides through the role. For a debut in a language that she is not familiar with (barring the obvious dubbing by the beautiful Chinmayi), Samantha did not let it be known and her lip-syncing is on point. As the friend who backs Karthik and helps him all the way to Aleppey, Krishnudu is cute and honest. You could say he was a semi comedian in the flick. As parents, Surekha Vani, Sanjay Swaroop, Lakshmi Radhakrishnan and Devan play their part effortlessly, although one did get a feeling that Surekha Vani was a little young looking for the mother of a 22 year old. Puri Jagannadh plays himself with director Gautham making a 2 sec no dialogue cameo. Since the film is predominately surrounding the lead pair, no one else gets a big role in the film besides the camera and music.
The comparisons are bound to be there. Same director, same music and same story. Even the locations have similarity. But what is so wonderful about this pair version is their freshness. The two films were being made at the same time at one point but for someone that has watched both version, you do not feel these newcomers lose out on the edge that the experienced actor have. If only some, credit for this must go to director Gautham Menon. Making a remake of your film is not unusual but there is never a guarantee it will work again. So Gautham's conviction even after the initial hesitation, is worthy of applause. From Manoj Paramahamsa to A.R.Rahman, the technical side of the film did not miss a beat. Visually captivating, subtle music yet erupting in emotion without a cartoon feel. Dialogues by Umarji Anuradha added the subtle nativity required to show difference in the film. Even as you hear the same songs composed by A.R.Rahman, you feel the lyrics give a new dimension to the songs you have heard so many times. Barring of course, the superbly sung Aaromale.
Downfalls? Well, after watching the film close to 1000 times, one gets over the "I-love-you-now, I-dont-love-you-now" rotating door emotions Jessie portrays because you finally understand. Making a choice based on your mind is very hard when your heart says something quite different. In your dady-to-day life, we are forced to do so in many situations. So with the backdrop of a love story, there is bound to be some tension. At the same time, there is literally only two scenes where you hear Jessie's mindspeak, the reason for that comes in the most simplest answers. The narrative is in Karthik's point of view. So naturally, we only see his side. You aren't supposed to understand entirely what Jessie does. Frustration and fury may get the better of you but there is little room for Jessie's version of events. So dont get me wrong and think that there aren't flaws. It is purely a case of each her own interpretation and this reviewer sees a logic. Whether this was intended is left in the hands of the director to clarify.
One thing is most evident for this film. With all the accusations that real life is only seen on the big screen when the setting a love story is in the outskirts of a village, YMC shows the place isnt important for it to be real and raw. The city life has many stories and regardless of its picture perfect look, there is real life in the film, even as it entertains like a mainstream commercial film should.
Shall we skip the rating this time? ;)