Surya shines as father and son in ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’ (Tamil Film Review)

November 15th, 2008 - 5:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Film: “Vaaranam Aayiram”; Director: Gowtham Menon; Cast: Surya, Simran, Divya Spandana, Sameera Reddy; Music: Harris Jayaraj; Rating: *** “Vaaranam Aayiram”, which means ‘a thousand elephants’ in Tamil, is a Surya film all the way. The actor strides through it with his double role, giving a scintillating performance.

The tale is about a goody-goody relationship between father and son. Surya plays a wizened old man, Krishnan, in the autumn of his life and a strapping army major with aplomb..

The 33-year-old Surya even sends the audience into complete disbelief looking every inch a 17-year-old for a brief while in the film.

The story recalls the touching moments in a family that has only love for each of its members - comprising father, mother (played by Simran) son and his girlfriends (Sameera Reddy and Divya Spandana) spread between India and the US.

While it first describes the love between the father and his wife in the 1970s, it also beautifully portrays the son’s love life many years later.

After a love affair in Chennai, the protagonist head to the US, where he sweeps the fashionable and chic Sameera Reddy off her feet.

Playing men of different ages and times, Surya makes subtle changes in his gait, body language and dialogue delivery, thereby creating different shades to his two roles.

The time difference between father and son is also shown with painstaking digital detail.

The cinematography by Rathnavel is excellent as he matches the digitally superimposed visuals with live images.

Hit music in all the seven songs by Harris Jayaraj provides the icing to the cake.

Director Gautham Menon has exceeded himself in creativity, extracting great work from his cast.

The over-sweet nature of the story and its lagging length in the second half are its minus points that pale into insignificance due to Surya’s brilliant essay of the two roles and a moving climax.

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