Director Maniratnam known for his expertise in handling romantic subjects has taken another romantic subject for his latest film “Kaatru Veliyidai” with Karthi and Aditi Rao Hyadri in the lead. Set in the backdrop of Kargil war to begin with, the movie moves back and forth in time in unraveling a simple love story. The biggest flaw in the film is its pace that never kicks off. The going gets tough with every scene and this aspect seals the fate of the film steadily.

In terms of screenplay, the story-line lacks a riveting screenplay inspite of the scope being a plenty in the offing. Looks like Maniratnam had concentrated on only one thing and that was to portray the film as a visual extravaganza which is achieved to perfection. Cinematographer Ravi Varman has captured the beautiful locales of Siberia and Ooty to perfection.

The storyline doesn’t hold major twists and the casting too is much to be desired. Karthi looks a bit jaded for the role of a fighter pilot while Aditi’s character has nothing great to write about. Maniratnam has categorically avoided bringing in an antagonist thereby saving his viewers of some unnecessary masala face-off. The film with a original run time of 147 minutes was pruned by another 7 minutes post censor. In the end, it turns out to be total disappointment for Maniratnam & Karthi fans.

A R Rahman once known for weaving magic through his music is losing his charm steadily. There is nothing to write about in the music except for a couple of chart busters. The true shining star of the film is Ravi Varman who has pumped in so much natural beauty into the scheme of things. “Kaatru Veliyidai” reminds of various Maniratnam films which could have been avoided.

The film is a clear washout in the box office race barring the opening weekend at the multiplexes. Maniratnam should tread into an experimental mode in his next film which will help him to rise like a phoenix else the new crop of young film makers will take over the mantle.

“Kaatru Veliyidai” is a visual treat to the eyes but fails to entertain big time.

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