Romance is in the air as the lives of Fighter Pilot Varun & Medical Doctor Leela collide amidst the scenic beauty of Kashmir. While Leela yearns for Varun’s affection in the delicate of ways, Varun’s idea of love is all give-give, not give-take. Just as the avalanche of built-up emotions sets rolling, Varun becomes a PoW post the Kargil episode. Do their paths cross later?
Running Time:
147 min
Release date:
07 April 2017
Directed by:
Mani Ratnam
Produced by:
Mani Ratnam
Written by:
Mani Ratnam
Aditi Rao Hydari
Karthik Sivakumar
Delhi Ganesh
RJ Balaji
Rukmini Vijayakumar
Music by:
AR Rahman
Shot by:
S Ravi Varman
Editing by:
A Sreekar Prasad
Distributed by:
AP International
Fox Star Studios
Sri Thenandal Films
Thameens Films

What’s Hot

  • Coming from a director known for being an auteur, Kaatru Veliyidai has glimpses of magical moments that we associate with Mani Ratnam films. There are exchanges and scenes that bring a nostalgic smile on you (A rather unimportant Thiruda Thiruda type chase sequence with Mani paying tribute to Spielberg & Rahman to John Williams, for example).
  • The female lead Aditi Rao Hydari is exceptional as Dr.Leela. She is the example one should use for people finding linguistic challenge as the reason for heroines not being expressive enough or upto the mark with lip-sync. To be fair to her, she just does much more than that in the film – A great debut in Tamil.
  • Karthi is earnest as the narcissistic Varun and shines inconsistently (thanks to a pretty empty sketching of what could have been a fascinating character sketch) through the film. To appreciate his work, one probably has to undo his earlier roles as we get reminded of it and we see that he is ‘trying forever’ to break away from that!
  • The technical work in the film is world-class. AR Rahman’s mesmerizing tunes are put forth to good use, bolstered by an inspiring work behind the lens from Ravi Varman. They also contribute immensely to the story telling with their background score and perspective shots.

What’s Not

  • The magical moments I mentioned are few and far between and don’t succeed in holding the film together. Usually, in Mani Ratnam films, the most crucial scenes also end up being the most wonderfully made. Strangely enough, that isn’t the case here. The pair’s first conflict scene amidst a brewing snow-storm comes abruptly and ends up looking like a farce; So does the glass-room dining table sequence of Varun with Leela’s parents.
  • The film doesn’t seem to bat an eyelid to giving us a realistic feeling in terms of nativity of the characters. Varun’s family depicted looks anything but Tamil. The ‘pregnancy before marriage’ idea is unnecessarily thrown one time too many.
  • The character sketches of Varun &Leela are interesting but we get a feeling that only the tip of the iceberg. If we had been taken further into the reasons behind why they are the way they are, it could have made way for a fascinating character-driven romance drama. But the lack of detailing makes us lose interest in their pursuit and we don’t root for neither leads.




Verdict Stamp

Amidst a little mayhem & a little magic, Kaatru Veliyidai has its share of moments which aren't stitched as well as we would have liked. Impeccable technical brilliance notwithstanding, the incomplete character sketches make the film as flawed as its lead VC.