Chekka Chivantha Vaanam is one of the most anticipated films this year.
The fact that it is a Mani Ratnam film was enough to drive us all insane with anticipation; and then there’s the star-studded cast. The line up of Arvind Swami, Arun Vijay, Simbhu, Prakash Raj, Jyothika, Aditi Rao Hydari, and more promised us nothing less than a masterpiece.
Having said that, I walked into the cinema with absolutely no expectations. I didn’t even watch the trailer. I had no idea what I was about to see, and I think it was the right decision, because the movie completely blew me away. It wasn’t perfect, but it was brilliant in so many ways. It was so brilliant that I was scared that at some point of the movie, something was going to happen and this was going to end up like any other Tamil movie. But it didn’t. The entire movie stayed true to its theme and story – and that made it all worth it.
However, a lot of people did not agree with this movie for multiple reasons, and some even thought it was boring as it was all talk and no song breaks. So, instead of telling you why you should watch this movie, I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t – especially if you expect the typical Tamil movie modus operandi.
No mass hero entry
We all look forward the hero’s mass entry when watching a film. Will it be a fight scene? Where will he jump in from? What is he going to break? Will there be fireworks?
In Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, there is none of all that. The closest to a mass entry we got was Simbhu’s introduction of Ethi in the film, but even in that scene, we saw his girlfriend first. All the other characters were introduced with the story, as opposed to the story making way for them.
2. There’s no porikki villain
One of the most gripping moments of Chekka Chivantha Vaanam is that we don’t know who the villain is. After Senapathi (Prakash Raj) gets attacked, we see his arch nemesis being blamed, but the latter isn’t really the villain or the antagonist that drives plot. The villains are the heroes themselves, or in this case, anti-heroes, who turn on each other despite being blood brothers – all for the sake of power. You never know who’s side to take, because every one of them has an ulterior motive for their actions.
3. There’s no unnecessary love scenes
Despite the fact that the movie has four heroines, there was no detour or any unnecessary love scenes that distracted us from the plot. The main plot is the craze for power, and that prevailed throughout the movie. In fact, all four heroines had different dynamics. One is a wife that loves her husband way too much that she overlooks the fact that he is cheating on her. One is a journalist that is having an affair with a married man. One is a career woman in Dubai who is wrongfully imprisoned. One is an adrenaline junkie who aids her boyfriend in smuggling weapons and drugs. How often do you see this in a Tamil movie?
If you think heroines should all be sexy and dainty, then this movie is definitely not for you.
4. No song sequences
There are plenty of amazing songs in the movie, and they are all there to drive the plot and enhance the story telling. If you’re one of those people who look forward to song sequences with plenty of dancing and colorful costumes, then this movie will let you down.
5. You don’t care about details
Watching Chekka Chivantha Vaanam was like getting an eyegasm (yes I know it’s a made up word). The direction is impeccable. Every scene is there for a reason and is meant to establish something. Every scene was given so much importance and meticulously shot. There were quite a few scenes in slow motion that served as real treats for the eyes, the visuals were amazing.
Two scenes that impressed me the most – SPOILER ALERT – was the scene where Ethi and Rasool were hurling bottles at their enemies’ car, and the scene were all three brothers were chasing down the men who attacked their father. Ethi took down one of the perpetrators, and halfway through fighting, he stopped to rest and catch his breath – that is the level of detail in Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. Also, the final scene on the mountain top was absolutely beautiful, but I don’t want to spoil anything more – go watch the movie!