Disclaimer: This is not a review. If you are expecting stars at the end of the review, please close the window and do something worthy instead of reading this post.
The day Neethane En Pon Vasantham released my Facebook timeline was quite funny. I had one meme picture trying to tell me how boring the movie was and I had another who wrote a heartfelt update about how he was taken in to a nostalgic trip down memory lane. I still get these contrasting reviews. I haven’t seen someone saying “average” or “ok”. They either loved it or hated it. I could not think of a movie that had such diametrically opposite reviews in recent times (of course leaving out the fan boys section).
Most of the Tamil movies are fantasy. You can’t find a police officer who roars like Singam Surya or you can’t find a girl who dresses as skimpy as heroines on roads. Even the romantic movies of 80s and 90s were the same. The heroes are over the top and heroines are far from real barring a few gems here and there. In fact, 80s had this tragedy phase where in every other movie, you would find some one dying at the end. The trend was fuelled by KB’s Marocharithra and T Rajendar’s earlier movies. Mature realistic romantic movies were a rarity. Even now the situation is same. The romance in masala movies have degraded to lowest levels In which the lady characters are either conned or threatened to fall in love. We have to search for reasons why a heroine falls in love with the hero.
Some of the movies in recent times have touched upon subtle realistic romance with a pinch of poetic touch to it. The Ananya – Sharavanand episode in Engeyum Eppothum, Kadhalil Sodhappavadhu Eppadi and Maalai Pozhudhin mayakkathile are some of the movies I could think of. Needhane En Pon Vasantham is one such little gem that has cropped up.
I loved NEPV. Let me accept a fact, Gautham Menon should have screwed up miserably to make me hate it. I was already sold out to the movie. I haven’t known a day for the past 4 months without listening Raaja’s masterpieces. But GVM hasn’t screwed up.
There are many reasons why I loved NEPV. One of the biggest criticisms about the movie was its pace. For me, it needed that space and time for the characters to evolve. It was like a reading a novel where you get to know your characters and understand them. The characters are well etched and more grounded than any other movie. Varun is just another guy like others who wants to complete engineering, get in to a job and make his family better. Nithya on the other hand is from a rich family and is ready to give away anything in her life to follow her heart. The love between these two characters sprouts from a childhood friendship. They know each other, understand but fight because their egos. Although the triggers for their fights seem to be very trivial, the movie subtly shows the complexities that each of them face. The depiction is so true to life because most relationships do face these type of issues. Some pass through, some don’t.
I love Nithya’s character not because she persists to get her love of life but because she is complete. She is not perfect. But she is complete. Bundle of emotions, strong and the way he takes her heart breaks are brilliantly characterised. Samantha has portrayed Nithya to perfection. The transformation from a School girl to a 24 year old woman is quite phenomenal. And as an actress, Samantha has graduated from where she started in Baana Kathadi.
Jeeva on the other hand with Varun has wonderfully underplayed and that makes it interesting. In the climax, when he talks to her in a frustrated and helpless tone, he scores. I think everyone will have a friend like Santhanam (with slight differences here and there) and the bro love was well portrayed. Vidhulekha makes a promising debut but I hope she chooses her characters well in future movies too.
While NEPV is a ode to love, it also is a tribute to Raaja. The love of GVM for Raaja oozes out as he tries to take his movie with songs. Vaanam Mella and Satru Munbu tugs your heart, while Saindhu Saindhu will make you sing it to your girl friend next time you see her. In fact my least favourite Pengal Endral became a hot favourite after watching the movie. I expected him to give more scope for background score but I will not complain. I am still reeling under the violin piece that haunted me in the final sequence when Nithya cries in the car after meeting Varun. Only Raaja can do it…
NEPV will take you for a nostalgic ride. Anybody who is in love would relate to some scene in the movie. It will bring you a smile and sometimes few tears. The problem with most people and few reviewers is that they compare it with GVM’s earlier movie. If you can’t watch a movie without comparison, you are not eligible to review it. NEPV is a poem and I loved reading it. Probably a few of you would not have, because reading a poem is personal. I hate Gautham Menon for making me to read a poem that’s so personal and made me shed some tears. I hate him for making Raaja make such wonderful music. I hate him the way Varun hates Nithya in the last scene. I hate you Gautham Vasudev Menon.
PS: I am not going to give a rating for NEPV. I loved the movie. My suggestion to my readers, if you want to whether you like the movie or not, watch it and then decide. If you are going to make up your mind based on reviews, you will definitely end up in the wrong side.
PS2: I was waiting to watch to the Telugu version before writing this article but I could not. I am waiting to watch it.