Meet The Women In Mani Ratnam’s ‘Chekka Chivantha Vaanam’

All of their first-looks out!

For years now, it’s been a given that the women in Mani Ratnam’s films are strong protagonists, some with a mind of their own, some guided by the men in their lives but still display some stance when the occasion arises. His last film, Kaatru Veliyidai, showcased Aditi Rao Hydari’s character in a toxic relationship with Karthi’s character. The whole premise of their relationship was that he was dominating, moody, and downright disrespectful but he atones himself at the end after faces prison time and a whole lot of mental torture. The film elicited a lot of mixed response from the audience, who questioned why the woman in the film bore the brunt of his abuses throughout and appeared timid as opposed to MR’s other heroines.

A lot of buzz was created when MR announced Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, a multi-starrer with a bunch of actors no one thought he’d ever work with. While he has worked with Arvind Swamy and Aditi Rao Hydari in the past, the cast includes Kollywood’s controversy’s child STR, Aishwarya Rajesh, model Dayana Erappa, Arun Vijay, Vijay Sethupathi, and Jyothika. The film’s first-look featured individual posters of the men first, introducing us to Varada, Ethi, Rasool, and Thyagu.

The women’s first-look came next, indicating that while they play crucial roles in the film, it’s not about them but about focusing more on the men and what they have to contribute. The women’s first-look began with Dayana Erappa’s who plays Chaaya. The picture focuses on her with STR’s Ethi overshadowing her in the next poster.

Jyothika’s poster, too, wasn’t just her but with another actor, Arvind Swamy. The two characters appear to be together, with her looking lovingly at him while seated in a bus.

The third look was that of Aishwarya Rajesh’s Renu, who, again, has a male presence looming high above her. Needless to say, the women might be strong protagonists but it does appear to be a trope in MR’s films wherein the posters choose to shed light on the actors while the actresses are somehow accommodated into it.

Aditi Rao Hydari’s was the last look, however, was a turning point and probably gave a little insight into why the men are put in the frame for every woman’s first-look poster. If Jyothika’s first-look featured her with Arvind Swamy, someone she might be paired with, Aditi’s first-look, also featuring Swamy, indicates that he is involved with two other women.

The music will be composed by AR Rahman and lyrics by Vairamuthu. The film is scheduled for a September 28 release.

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