An assassination attempt on Senapathy, the head of an all-powerful underworld gang, has the top brass scrambling to identify the perpetrators in a bid to avoid a bloody gang war. With the cops on a close watch, uncomfortable questions are raised which lead to regrettable decisions being made, ultimately spiraling into an unavoidable power struggle between the three sons of Senapathi – Varada, Thiagu and Ethi!

Running Time:
143 min
Release date:
27 September 2018
Directed by:
Mani Ratnam
Produced by:
Mani Ratnam
A. Subaskaran
Written by:
Mani Ratnam
Siva Ananth
Vijay Sethupathi
Aravind Swami
Arun Vijay
Aditi Rao Hydari
Dayana Erappa
Aishwarya Rajesh
Prakash Raj
Music by:
A. R. Rahman
Shot by:
Santosh Sivan
Editing by:
A. Sreekar Prasad
Distributed by:
Lyca Productions

What’s Hot

  • Vijay Sethupathi steals the acting honors on expected lines with his charismatic show as the shady cop, Rasool Ibrahim. He perfectly represents the intricate nexus between a gangster family he is personally acquainted with and his profession. His quirky exchanges with STR are quite enjoyable, especially since STR’s Ethi comes a close second with a performance to virtually embody fearlessness in the wake of adversity, with quite a few moments to summon fan frenzy.

  • A R Rahman’s rich music score runs through the veins of every character and situation in this gangster flick. While ‘Kalla Kalavaani’ underlines the rebellious and unbridled spirit of Ethi, ‘Sevanthu Pochu Nenjam’ and ‘Bhoomi Bhoomi’ aptly complement the ever-present sibling rivalry which bursts out into a full blood conflict.

  • Maniratnam’s decision to roll back the years and partner with his trusted cinematographer Santosh Sivan seems to have paid instant dividends. Flashes of brilliance are seen in this movie, along the lines of the visually compelling conversations filmed by the duo as seen in Thalapathy, Roja, Dil Se, Iruvar and Raavanan. The scene when the father and the three sons share the same frame at the hospital and another back home with the entire family in tow, are just brilliant set pieces in terms of the narrative.

What’s Not

  • The core plot of the movie centered on a gangster family with a shady cop in the mix does not leave much to the imagination of the audience who have been schooled for many years on what to expect. The sheer expectation Mani Ratnam’s famed narrative skills to make a marked difference is met with disappointment as the narrative just unwinds to predictable ends.

  • The weak characterizations of the eldest siblings Varada and Thiagu are quite a letdown, especially since they are projected as the respective faces of the two-pronged sibling rivalry within the family. These result in anticipated extremely one-sided battles between the factions as anticipated and takes out the sting from the impact the battles should have had.

  • The experience suffers due to over-romanticizing of car stunts, bloodshed and violence during key moments like the climax. Intelligently pace the narrative to undo the knots in the plot at opportune moments seems to have lost importance to the lazy approach of revealing plot twists all in one go at the climax, a fad under the cover of maintaining the suspense!




Verdict Stamp

'Chekka Chivantha Vaanam' plays by the rule book of the customary gangster flick etched in the minds of generations of movie goers. The Mani Ratnam recipe for an audio-visual narrative aided by natural performances on screen, endures the shortcomings to shore up the experience to manageable levels!