Kaatru Veliyidai

Breathtaking visuals, beautiful colours, mesmerizing music, people with flaws and feelings abound, a leading lady in lovely costumes, a love story on a setting that makes you think beyond your normal lives and thank those brave soldiers who are helping us lead a safe life – that is Kaatru Veliyidai for you.

If you are looking for a story of two perfect and caring people falling in love with each other and leading a happy life together, then this movie is not for you.

First of all, kudos to Mani Ratnam for making us once again remember the travails that our Army men are going through everyday to let us lead a safe and happy life! The opening scenes of war and the tortures that the captured soldiers are made to go through in jail do make us offer a respectful ‘Thank You!’ to our brave soldiers!

Forget the Chandrakumar of Mouna Ragam, Shekhar of Anjali or Ram of Alaipayuthey – the perfect (or a bit too perfect?) husbands! It’s time to move out of fairy tales and ideal relationships in Kaatru Veliyidai. As scene after scene unfolded showing VC’s attitude towards not just Leela, but towards women in general, it did feel irritating. Leela continues to be with him despite the way he treats her and humiliates her several time, not just when alone but in front of others too! Why would somebody who wants an equal relationship go back to the same humiliating relationship again and again? I felt the one reason more than anything else why she continues to go back to VC again and again despite having him treat her the way he does, was he was close to her brother. She keeps talking with him about her brother and even goes to the place where her brother died.

VC, leading a life filled with danger in probably every single moment of it, seems to care the least about anything. More importantly Leela’s feelings. During a conversation with a colleague, when he conveys his views on the work they are doing and the attitude they should have, his nature is a bit more revealed. In the end, after all that he goes through, he says he is a changed man. Would he really have changed?? Watching the movie, my sister asked, ‘I think she introduces him as Varun and not her father to their child because she still doesn’t entirely believe him?’ After the way he had treated her all through, would she really ever fully believe him??

Moving away from VC and Leela to the story of VC being held captive and his escape from Pakistan, the entire escape, especially after they are captured halfway through again in Pakistan itself, could have been visualized more adventurously! The final entry to Afghanistan seemed too easy and unrealistic!

A R Rahman’s music was as amazing as always! Amazing music which was indeed well-suited for a movie commemorating the ARR – Mani Ratnam collaboration of 25 years. I can easily recollect several pieces of BGMs which were absolutely brilliant!

The breathtaking visuals of the snow-capped Himalayas and almost every frame of the movie where Leela was shivering in cold were so brilliantly taken that we could almost feel the cold! The visuals and the music did indeed take us to Himalayas! My own thought all through this movie was why the hell is man fighting for a piece of land – a very, very beautiful terrain filled with dangerous curves and slopes created so uniquely by God! A place whose beauty is to be cherished and enjoyed is today a place of war! A pity indeed!

Not many would want to watch that frustrating and ugly facets of a relationship, of a commitment. Kaatru Veliyidai was more of that. Nobody seemed to have perfect relationship with each other – be it VC & Leela, VC & his family or Leela & her parents. As always, it was an in-depth portrayal of relationships by Mani Ratnam. Only this time, there was nothing happy or romantic about it. VC & Leela’s was pure madness, each having their own reasons for why they were still holding on to it!

P.S.: I came to know that the scenes showing VC meeting Leela’s parents after her grandfather’s death has been deleted in theatres in Madras! I wonder why! Those scenes come right after the scene where Leela tells VC that she is expecting their child.

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