If you like beautiful, intimate, playful, passionate love story in typical Mani Ratnam style then Kaatru Veliyidai is bang on. The greatest love stories are the ones that make you root for the protagonists to come together, despite their destinies and it happens here.
The plot is wafer-thin. Fighter pilot Varun Chakrabani aka VC (Karthi) and doctor Leela Abraham (Aditi Rao Hydari) fall in love against the backdrop of the Kargil war in Srinagar. Everything is hunky dory till Leela realizes that it is difficult for her to put up with VC’s brash, self-centered nature and the way he disrespects her in public. She is a modern spirited girl who wants equality in a relationship and decides to walk away from his life. Soon VC is taken prisoner by Pakistan army and rest of the film is anybody’s guess.
The film’s biggest strength is Aditi Rao Hydari, and she shines in every frame. She is there throughout and even gets a perfect introduction scene. In a well-written role as the vulnerable yet head-strong Leela she speaks volumes through her eyes and body language. She owns the film with her winsome performance. The way Aditi cries, laughs and emotes completely attract us that even after we leave the movie hall, she refuses to go away from our heart. However, the rest of the characters fail to create the same impact. Karthi looks lean and smart in a new look without mustache and change of gait but somehow fails to make VC convincing. Blame it on his character of a self centered egoistic brash guy, we hardly root for him and he looks quite uncomfortable in most of the intimate scenes.
The beauty of Mani Ratnam films lies in its unpredictability, but Kaatru Veliyidai has a story which gives us a feel that we’ve seen it so many times. The climax looks tad weak, the scenes where Karthi escapes from a Pakistan jail looks convenient filled with logical loopholes.
Technically the film is class apart. As for the music, AR Rahman no doubt reserve his most versatile best for Mani Ratnam. Nobody shoots songs the way Mani Ratnam does, and once again he proves it here as all the songs are picture perfect. Ravi Varman scintillating visuals captures scenic locales in a stunning manner. A good part of the film has been shot in Ladak and Serbia in Eastern Europe and matched with Srinagar and it looks authentic and believable.
Overall Kaatru Veliyidai is an experience you must enjoy.
Kaatru Veliyidai review- Verdict: Engaging