Whenever a discussion about the finest Tamil romantic movies in the past decade comes up, one which is likely to feature in almost all the lists will be "Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa". Directed by the maestro Gautham Menon, the movie featured the lead pairs Simbu & Trisha; with the former arguably at his best along with the legend A R Rahman's brilliant music. So when the news came that the trio were joining hands again after 6 years for "Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada" the expectations had gone through the roof. The songs are already chart busters & the trailer looked interesting, but will AYM match upto VTV, against which it is going to be invariably compared???
Simbu (his character name isn't revealed as it is expected to be a spoiler) is a jobless MBA graduate who viled away time with his friends. After a couple of failed encounters with love, Simbu falls for his sister's friend Leela (Manjima Mohan) who had come over to stay with their family. When he decides to go on a tour of South India on his bike with his buddies, Leela expresses her interest to go along with him. During the course of their journey, the two gets closer but before they could confess their love; they meet with an accident which changes their lives for ever.
Gautham Menon had announced this movie in 2013, but due to various issues the film had to be postponed quite a number of times. This is pretty evident when we see Simbu who seem to have changed quite a bit physically over this period of time. It is a bilingual & made in Telugu as "Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo" with Naga Chaitanya in the lead. Scripted by Gautham himself, the film unfolds with the mention that it is inspired from a sequence in "The Godfather, though frankly speaking such a statement wasnt required as it wasnt so evident. Anywaz it is a well known fact that he is an expert when it comes to portraying romance on celluloid. The first half is about the romance which blossoms between the lead pairs which reminds us of VTV & there are a couple of subtle references about the movie as well. In the second half, Gautham transforms it into an action thriller which is unfortunately the weak point. The climax was hurried & it lacked logic considering the way it was built up. It seemed like Gautham wanted to play to the gallery for the STR fans & the heroine was relegated to the sidelines.
On the technical side, A R Rahman rocked the show with his music & BGM. Almost all the tracks are fine though my pick among the lot was "Thalli Pogathey" not just because of the rendition by Sid Sriram , Aaryan Dinesh & Aparna but also for the manner it was picturised. The cinematography was top notch courtesy of Dan Macarthur & Dani Raymond. Even Anthony Gonsalves has done a fine job with the editing though the second half could have been better.
Apart from the mediocre "Vaalu" last year, it's been a while since Simbu have featured in a full length role & even longer when we choose one which endeared to the audience. From a personal point of view, VTV was definitely his best & with AYM, he is back in form which goes on to prove that in the hands of a talented director, Simbu can rock the screen. Manjima wasn't the original choice for the movie, however she fitted the part & did her role quite well. Baba Sehgal might have played his character a bit over the top, but he was an apt choice while Daniel Balaji was completely wasted.
Verdict: With no big releases in the horizon, the film should have a free reign at the box office for the next few weeks. However, it might be affected by the demonetization which is being implemented especially in the single screens where online booking isnt available. AYM does have the Gautham Menon stamp on it which will endear to the audience & with STR along with Rahman in form as well, it is definitely worth a watch.