Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vaaranam Aayiram1

Vaaranam Aayiram, Soozha Valam Seidhu....( வாரணம் வாரணம் சூழ வலம் செய்து ...)
That's how a Thirupaavai ( திருப்பாவை ) hymn begins. The Thirupaavai is the set of hymns recited by this young girl Kodhai ( கோதை ) also known as Aandal Naaichiyaar (ஆண்டாள் நாச்சியார்) to praise the Lord Krishna. She lived in Srivilliputtur, South India. This town was her world and the temple of Lord Vishnu, her paradise. Her father Periyaazhvaar ( பெரியாழ்வார்) did not know that Aandal tried on the floral garland, that was meant to be offered to Lord Krishna, on herself once every day, before she offered it to God. Unless she is satisfied that the garland is perfect for her Krishna, she would not offer it. This is much against the usual practice where we dont offer flowers that we have tried on already to the God whereas the reverse practice is usually considered the norm. It is said, that one day, when Periyaazhvaar refused to take the already 'tried-on' garland and got a fresh one done for the diety in Srivilliputtur Temple, Lord Krishna appeared in his dreams to tell him that he missed Aandaal's garland that day.

This devotee sang the Thirupaavai in the name of Lord Krishna in the month of Maarghazhi ( மார்கழி ). Even today, every South Indian vaishnavite temple has theese verses resounding in the air in the early hours of 30 winter days. One of these verses begin with Vaaranam Aayiram... (வாரணம் ஆயிரம் ...). It means 'Herd of thousand elephants'... and the hymn goes on to talk about the Lord Vishnu with a herd of thousand elephants, whom Kodhai whole-heartedly loves and trusts and believes in.

I know what you are thinking.. How does our movie relate to the title?
The movie is about Surya, a Major - Indian Army, who had to fly out on a very important mission, while his father is very ill. The Army base calls him up to say that his father, Krishnan, is no more and if he can manage to continue with the mission. Surya says 'Yes' and tries not to lose control.. While trying hard to fight emotions, his mind launches off into a flash-back mode where he recollects everything about his life with his Dad. His school, sports, college, work, setting the financial position of his life right, first love, his visit to the US to meet his girlfriend, her pathetic loss, the disastrous turn of his behaviour, his father's illness, his success at the attempt to find a kidnapped child, his second girl friend, his interest in Army, his marriage and baby, and his last meeting with his father - all come as a slide show in his mind. He finishes an important rescue operation and heads home straight.

Later, his mom tells about this hymn Vaaranam aayiram... which implies....that her love for his father Krishnan is just like the love Kodhai had for Lord Krishna. Since he had grew up seeing this love and the affection that Krishnan had for his family, he must be able to lead a life, the way Krishnan would have liked him to, always... and that Life must go on whatever happens...and its time to smile.

That's about the story...

There is something about Gautham's movies and gunshots, army, police kind of a set up. All his movies so far with such pitches have been good because the focus was different. In this movie however, the focus was home and Dad, so the Army mission didn't really seem to fit in well... You know it already that our hero has to win the mission.. we surely know that the director would not have killed the hero in the story because Sameera, the first girl friend is dead already.. another murder in the story will be a devastating hit in the box office.. So you kind of knew that the mission was going to be a hit and that was never the focus of the movie anyways.

Quickies :
Could have done away with the Army mission.
Could have given some importance to the second girl friend in par with the first girl friend.
Music is awesome.
Direction is good, but surely could have been better.
Nice story line, but then the play somehow didn't match the title.
Could have had a different title.
Costumes for the hero Surya and Sameera are casual and good.
Costumes for the hero Krishnan ( Star, Surya here again)and Simran ( late 70's costumes) are a good attempt, but we have never ever seen them in such costumes before, so didn't quite seem to suit their frame, but the eye for detail there deserves applause.
Surya has done a good job. Career set for the star if a nice stage is given.

Final words: Slow, emotional, cool, interesting, brings a lot of smiles, musical and serious. Not a movie for a dull day to help you recharge.


Crescentia Kalpana David said...

hey i thought the movie was good too but the element tht grips you till the end of the movie was missing.

nishitak said...

Hey...nice review especially the clarification about Vaaranam Aayiram meaning. Good reading :)

Btw, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)

Padmakumar Gopinath said...

Not a movie for a dull day to help you recharge.... Yes.. this is what I felt... However Surya has done it again... He is smashing... :-)

Anonymous said...

Abathamaana post.. Thirupaavai kum Nachiyar thirumozhi kum difference theriyadha?

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