Kaatru Veliyidai Movie Review

Visual poetry embellished by musical soul

Reviews 7-Apr-2017 2:57 PM IST Top 10 Comments

Direction : Mani Ratnam
Production : Madras Talkies
Starring : Karthi, Aditi Rao Hydari, RJ Balaji, Rukmani Vijayakumar
Music : A. R. Rahman
Cinematography : Ravi Varman
Editing : A. Sreekar Prasad

A love story set against the backdrops of war zone laced with emotions and relationships is Kaatru Veliyidai all about. The film needs no introduction as Maniratnam is the man behind the drama starring Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari in lead roles. AR Rahman’s musical score and Ravi Varman’s cinematography are the biggest highlighting traits.


Set against the backdrops of Kashmir, Varun (Karthi) is a fighter pilot who falls in love with a beautiful and compassionate Dr. Leela (Aditi Rao Hydari). With their emotional bonding for each other getting intense, their egoistic clashes too accompany which keeps pushing and pulling them apart and closer.


So much of elegance with the visual prominence and musical score by AR Rahman and that turns to be heart and soul of Maniratnam’s Kaatru Veliyidai… Be it the snowcapped mountains at Srinagar or the brownish sand hill tops that you see by the end, they are exotically enriched through Ravi Varman’s lens. The fortepianos flute and additional tracks by AR Rahman with extended pieces of Qawali, Vaan BGM and so on are really splendid. The way the film starts with visual strikes and the very titling of the movie itself is remarkable, which shows the simplicity of Maniratnam. The first hour takes its time of how Karthi and Aditi Rao fall in love very shortly followed by the egoistic clashes. The dramatic events set against the backdrops of snowstorms, hospital scene and Karthi’s interaction with Aditi’s parents have been very well shot, which shows the intensity of characterizations. The dialogues with Aditi’s father, “You make look like a criminal without asking a single question,” are just blunt sharp strokes, which we used to find in Late writer Sujatha. The first half comes occupied with four songs, among which ‘Azhagiye’ and ‘Sarattu Vandiyile’ happen in a span of just 3 minutes gap. The post-intermission sequences go through some ups and downs. In actuality, there remains to be a blurred line between the film depicted as a ‘War Drama’ or ‘Romantic Drama’. Audiences are ready to keep their applauses ready, especially during the sequence, where Karthi breaks the Pakistani flag before dashing through the borders. Editing by Sreekar Prasad are just fantabulous, where the conversational moments are very well edited. The costume designs and locations are yet another highlighting trait.


Maniratnam films usually have a good scope for every actor in spite of being majorscule or miniscule. Karthi’s efficient work to shed down weight and his attempts to adapt a unique body language for the sake of Varun characterization is appreciable. Aditi Rao Hydari just breathes herself into the soul of Leela. We find her so much emotional throughout the film. Karthi’s looks with beard is yet more appealing than his clean shaven face. RJ Balaji is a special surprise to see him in unique characterization. Shraddha Srinath is slightly disappointing as she just disappears in a span of 2 minutes. Rukmani impresses with her work, especially in dance. The dialogue involving RJ Balaji and Rukmani about ‘Love’ by second half is fun and realistic too. Delhi Ganesh, Lalitha and others do justice to their roles.

What works?

1. AR Rahman
2. Cinematography by Ravi Varman
3. Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari

What doesn’t work?

1. Slow-paced narration
2. Vague characterizations

It’s a custom made film for Maniratnam buffs, who are very well etched up with his trademark pattern of storytelling. The film has brilliant flash point of visual and musical poetry with some nuance performances too.

Verdict : Visual poetry embellished by musical soul

Rating : 5.5/10

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