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Chekka Chivantha Vaanam Movie Review


Mani Ratnam’s erstwhile movies OK Kanmani and Kaatru Veliyidai had a softer treatment and after years, he returns back to the raw and rustic crime drama with Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. With an ensemble star-cast involving Arvind Swami, STR, Arun Vijay, Vijay Sethupathi, Jyotika, Aishwarya Rajesh, Dayana Erappa, Prakash Raj and Jayasudha in title roles, the film has musical score by AR Rahman and cinematography handled by Santhosh Sivan.

This time, it becomes a complete ‘Guy’ film and it looks like Mani Ratnam himself is little bored by being more dramatic with his erstwhile movies. Yes, it’s massive and stylish with the lead actors giving a severe push into each character they have played. It’s not just about Vijay Sethupathi and STR along with Arvind Swami exerting their strokes, but even Arun Vijay keeps winning applause for his stylish action blocks. Just watch out for the scene, where he just leaps into the Periyavar Chair by the second hour. These are the Goosebumps moments; especially the climax sequence is just mind-boggling. The female actors have nothing much to play, but the greatest showstopper is Jayasudha. Those three scenes – the opening one with Prakash Raj in car , the shot where she bids goodbye to her sons through glass window after Prakash Raj reveals he know who attempted on their murder and penultimate one where STR seeks her presence.

Right from the word ‘Go’, the raciness is completely present in the film, where it looks so much promising. A topmost gangster, mafia turned business tycoon Senapathy (Prakash Raj) and his wife (Jayasudha) are attempted to brutal death. Their sons (Arvind Swami, Arun Vijay and STR) set out to find who the killer is. With Rasool (Vijay Sethupathi), a suspended alcoholic police officer as their aide, the story takes a twist post-intermission with unsacred games urging characters to take drastic changes.

The most fascinating thing about the film is the narrative style that comes with a strong moral. What you sow is what you reap and although, it’s a hackneyed concept, but still it works out. One of the strongest factors is the screen presence of the lead actors and their overpowering characters. Moreover, Mani Ratnam has never tried to bind any actors to his style, but instead has shed down his routine style and penned dialogues according to their images. Vijay Sethupathi’s witticism and STR’s style of dialogues are so much illustrating to those factors.

The second hour might have some dragging moments, where the abrupt cuts of transitions from one scene to the other turn out to be slightly diminishing. Also, the scenes involving STR-Dayana aren’t compelling and Arun Vijay-Aishwarya Rajesh episode is good indeed. Jyotika’s role is completely surprising. During this time, where she is seen in female-centric themed roles, this is something out of the box. Of course, every female lead adds emotional dimension to the film.

The background score that mostly comprises of songs add an impeccably excellent impact to the situational context. The visual magic by Santhosh Shivan is just stunning and action sequences by Dhilip Subbarayan plays an outstanding role in keeping us engaged.

Overall, Chekka Chivantha Vaanam brings a hard-hitting premise of crime drama, where the beauty of evil is stunningly conveyed. With gun shots heard throughout the film, it might be cherry pick for teen groups, especially a ‘Guy’ oriented flick.

Verdict: Raw and rustic crime drama that keeps you engaged in many places

Rating: 3.25/5

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