Movie : Cheliya
Director: Mani Ratnam
Behind the Screens
Veteran Filmmaker, Mani Ratnam is out of form in the recent years. He is coming back to Telugu and Tamil audience today with his new film, Cheliya (Kaatru Veliyadai in Tamil) which is a love story in Kargil War Backdrop. Let us see how the movie fared with the audience.
Varun Alias VC (Karthi) is a Squadron Leader in Indian Airforce and one day happens to meets Leela (Aditi Rao Hyadri) who is a doctor in a hospital. Later they fall in love with each other but then some fissures develop in the love story. When things go on like that, Kargil War breaks out between India and Pakistan and Varun gets a call to attend the national duty. Unfortunately, Varun’s air fighter collapses and he gets caught by Pakistanis. What happens next in Varun’s life and his love story forms the next.
Karthi who is mostly confined to love and comedy films tried some thing different in this movie. As a pilot, lover and war prisoner, Karthi did a good job. Aditi Rao Hyadri has got a character with various emotions. She managed to impress but then the chemistry between the lead pair did not work out somehow. Rest of the characters are okay.
The first half will see Varun in a Pakistani Jail. There are two different shades here as he thinks about escaping from there and then there are thoughts about Leela. The love scenes between them, Varun’s Brother marriage episode and the interval bang when Varun escapes from the jail are okay and manage to create curiosity about the second half. But then, things are far stretched and audience are bored with the love story between Varun and Leela. Varun once again gets caught by Pakistanis towards the Pre-Climax. One would expect high voltage climax but then things fall flat disappointing the audience
Mani Ratnam had chosen a Kargil backdrop love story for Cheliya. But the movie ended up as a mixed bag. The ace director’s trademark visual framing is appealing but then the content and narration is not at all engaging. The second half, in particular, is a big let off.
AR Rahman’s music is disappearing and does not take the audience to the mood of the film. Ravi Varman’s cinematography is the biggest highlight of the film as he takes the audience to a different world with his lens. Editing is again disappointing while the Production Values are grand.
Big Disappointment from Mani Ratnam