Thursday, 4 October 2018

Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (CCV)

Prakash Raj, Jayasudha, Thiagarajan
Arvind Swamy, Arun Vijay, Silambarasan, Vijay Sethupathi
Jyothika, Aditi Rao Hydari, Aishwarya Rajesh, Dayana Erappa
Mani Ratnam Siva Ananth
Santosh Sivan
A. R. Rahman
A. Sreekar Prasad
Madras Talkies
Lyca Productions
Release Date
September 27, 2018
2 hours & 23 minutes

My Thoughts
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam aka CCV’s storyline is pretty similar and quite familiar – who will be the successor of father’s empire? Hasn’t this plot been in place since the times of grand epics? However, CCV is a clear winner because of the screenplay and brilliant editing. Treatment of the plot is different; the game of power politics and the results of the same are interestingly shown through the lives of several characters - Arvind Swamy (Varadan), Arun Vijay (Thyagu), Silambarasan (Ethi) and Vijay Sethupathi (Rasool).  

When it is Mani Ratnam’s film, even subtle nuances are usually overanalyzed by audiences and critics equally. The expectations are always sky high and when the trailer with so much blood and action came around, I was disappointed. It looked a little too much like Aaytha Ezhuthu to me – the use of multiple stars, guns and of course the scene where all the lead characters are packed in a vehicle. And the songs – well, they sounded a little odd. In short, I was waiting for the release but with a tinge of disappointment. Honestly, I didn’t want to see yet another movie that glorifies goons and gangsters, unapologetically shows murders, criminal offences, corruption, dirty politics and what not. I mean anything and everything which would make us cringe if we see in real life, but makes us clap and whistle if shown glamorously in reel life. But, I decided to leave all my assumptions at home and just watch it! Thank God I did. CCV may still be about loose morals, lack of family values, adultery, corruption, power play, gangsters, and criminal/illegal activities to a great extent. But it deglamorizes it! I can’t say anymore without a spoiler alert. So I stop here!

Although CCV is crowded with stars, each character is established so well in spite of the limited screen time they have. Well, this is the case with Prakash Raj (Senapathi), Arvind Swamy (Varadan), Arun Vijay (Thyagu), Silambarasan (Ethi) and Vijay Sethupathi (Rasool).  STR steals the show with his no-nonsense expressions (how do you let silence speak?), Arun Vijay (we want to see more of you!!!) with his swagger and Vijay Sethupathi with his comic timing (can never have enough of you). As a result, we carry these three characters with us when we head back home!

However, the female characters seem to be hanging somewhere in no man’s land. Lakshmi’s (Jayasudha) silent support to everything her husband Senapathi does and Chithra’s (Jyothika) explicit support and participation to the activities of her husband seems unexplained. Why are they so devoted to them? Are they evil too? Are they selfish too? Their silent acceptance of adultery and related open discussions about it seems path breaking. But since the characters are half developed, it doesn’t leave any mark. Renuka (Aiswarya Rajesh) seems wasted again except for the break down scene that she has in the second half. Further, Chaya (Diana) has one of the shortest screen time, she is one of the key triggers for the story’s flight. And Parvati (Aditi Rao Hydari) - whose character name, I actually googled and found in Wikipedia now - is as forgettable as her character name! It is very clearly explained why Varadan enjoys having illicit relationship with her, but there is no such explanation to why Parvati is interested too! Now you know what I mean? CCV is the big bad world of men with women aimlessly scuttling here and there, occasionally uttering some unthinkable dialogs which are still new to Tamizh cinema or maybe scantily dressed!

ARR’s music is used only in the background and they elevate the scenes to next level. The music is experimental and kind of new. But, I am still not sure if I like them as an album though!

Overall, CCV doesn’t seem to be a typical Mani Ratnam film. There is comedy (maybe it’s just the brilliant Vijay Sethupathi), philosophy and lots of violence. On the face, it seems like the movie has taken the same path as Naayakan. But once we analyze, we know that it’s just the other side of the same coin!

And, it doesn’t matter if you hate gangster movies the way I do - just watch it. Because CCV certainly has more layers and the narrative is so gripping that not a minute seems wasted! Go for it!!! J


1 comment:

  1. I thought I will read your review and then go for it:) Too loud, my friend said., I don't think I will go:)