One of the recent films in Kollywood that released 27 September was Chekka Chivantha Vaanam.
Directed by Mani Ratnam with A.R. Rahman on Music, Cinematography by Santosh Sivan and a star cast, the film had high expectations right from the start. The film starred Arvind Swamy, Vijay Sethupathi, Simbu, Arun Vijay, Jyothika, Aditi Rao, Aishwarya Rajesh, Dayana Erappa and Prakash Raj in lead roles.
A fast-paced film, the screenplay begins with an attempt on the life of a don, Senapathi portrayed by Prakash Raj. His 3 sons, all doing their respective roles as dons themselves, fly in to check out the problem. The three sons are portrayed by Aravind Swamy, Arun Vijay and Simbu in the order of age. Each of them has their own love lives, Aravind Swamy is married to Jyothika and having an affair with Aditi Rao. Arun Vijay is married to Aishwarya Rajesh and Simbu is in love with Dayana Erappa. And that is just the very very basic storyline which is then layered with maybe at least 5 more subplots. Oh, and yes, Aravind Swamy’s best friend is police officer Rasool portrayed by Vijay Sethupathi.
Senapathi soon dies of a heart attack and from there, the rest of the story follows the three sons competing to take Senapati’s position as head don and all of them still attempting to find out who made an attempt on their father’s life in the first place. This is an answer Mani Ratnam refuses to reveal until the very end of the film throughout which viewers are privy to loads and loads of fight sequences.
With respect to the technical aspects, there are definitely quite a few positives, and well, negatives.
Music by A.R. Rahman, while it did not stand out much as blockbuster chart-toppers, compliment the film and the storyline perfectly and succeed in encapsulating and engaging the audience. Cinematography by Santosh Sivan and editing by A. Sreekar Prasad is flawless and beautiful. Direction by Mani Ratnam is on point with a complicated storyline, loads of twists and turns, surprises and answers that aren’t revealed until the very end. Acting by the entire star cast is flawless and all of them portray their characters perfectly and convince their audience of an almost true authenticity that is required.
But of course, there’s definitely a few negatives too.
It definitely does feel a little weird when the film ends with (spoiler) all of the main cast but Vijay Sethupathi dead. It definitely was also a bit of a let down to realize that action sequences are pretty much all that is encompassed in the film. Unfortunately, despite having a director like Mani Ratnam, the movie lacks a bit of fluidity. A gangster film with little importance to the ladies who pretty much come in only to add an aspect to the lives of their husbands in various ways. A few jerky moves from one subplot to another which is unfortunately highlighted because of the background score.
Overall, it’s a film that has succeeded in various aspects but might have ended up a film being watched mainly for the star cast with a section of the audience who aren’t great fans of a complete action-adventure film, put off.
I’d give it a 3.5/5.