Cast: Radikaa Sarathkumar, Sarathkumar, Aishwarya Rajesh, Vikram Prabhu, Madonna Sebastian, Shanthnu Bhagyaraj, Amitash
When there’s a gloomy scene in a film, the weather depicts the mood. For example, when it’s sunny and there’s greenery all around, you know that it’s a good day. When it’s cold and rainy, there’s ought to be something bad happening but, that is where Vaanam Kottatum differs. Rain is the backdrop for all forms of happiness, sadness, anger and more. Director Dhana Sekaran has been an assistant director to the one and only Mani Ratnam and without a shadow of doubt a lot of frames, references and scene executions have that Mani touch. In the sense, you could see that the rain is a reflection of all the characters through rain, where rain has been personified as a character.
Angered that someone tried to take the life of his brother (Balaji Sakthivel), Bose Kaalai (Sarathkumar) slaughters the man and ends up in jail. Chandra (Radikaa Sarathkumar) is left with her two kids Selvam (Vikram Prabhu) and Mangai (Aishwarya Rajesh). While Selvam becomes a small-time businessman, Mangai studies Law and also helps her brother with his business. After 16 years in jail, Bose returns but the family Chandra carefully knits has to now take him in. Apart from the emotional distress and awkwardness that unfolds, the incomplete revenge story also gets its own screen space after the second half.
There are a lot of incomplete tales to be told that have been left to hang midway. This is because the film is crowded with multiple characters. For example, the love triangle between Mangai, Karthik Reddy (Amitash) and Ram (Shanthnu) had so much more potential. There is no time for the two men to progressively develop their characters or have their moments. Certain character arcs have mellow references from Mani’s previous films too. Selvam’s ruthless, angry character can be related to Inba from Ayudha Ezhuthu and the awkwardness and strain between the father and the son is something Mani Ratnam uses a lot in his films – it can be seen here too.
Sarathkumar and Radikaa Sarathkumar are two pearls of the film. They shine brightly and have donned the role elegantly. Their chemistry comes natural to them and there is something beautiful about Bose and Chandra in this film. Radikaa has breathed life into Chandra and has made Chandra one of the strongest women characters. Vikram Prabhu and Aishwarya Rajesh have performed equally brilliant. Although Shanthnu, Amitash and Madonna did not have much screen time to develop their character arc and have a closure but they did justice to whatever they were given.
The main story revolving around the revenge however fell flat and did not work well. Overall, the impressive cast and the emotional angle works well for the family audience.
Verdict: A good family entertainer