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CHEKKA CHIVANTHA VAANAM (Tamil) - An above average gangster movie with a cracker twist, that could have resulted in a great suspense family drama. (Review By Bobby Sing)
01 Oct, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2018 Releases / Just In

One of the pioneer directors making iconic movies on gangsters, Mani Ratnam returns to this overused genre with a multi-starrer film and yet again misses the bull’s eye despite a cracker, novel twist in the script.

A pro in handling many stars together giving them equal screen presence and importance, Ratnam appreciably finds a script doing justice with all and delivers a decent gangster movie that could have been an unusual family drama rising much above the rotten and familiar genre. As a commercial crime thriller featuring stars as Arvind Swami, Arun Vijay, STR playing the three young successors of an influential don Prakash Raj along with Vijay Sethupathi as a suspended police officer, CHEKKA CHIVANTHA VAANAM offers everything you expect from such star-studded venture in its opening 30 minutes. The energetic introductions, the spellbinding action and the stars’ scenes together strongly deliver the entertainment even if nothing novel or fresh is there in the concept or storytelling.

However the things suddenly take an unexpected turn when a winning twist comes just before the intermission converting the ‘crime-gangster film’ into a ‘who-dun-it’ suspense thriller filling you with a new excitement, ready to watch something highly engrossing as well as shocking in its concluding hour.
 
Unfortunately as well surprisingly, the writing never utilizes the potential twist post intermission and the film never steps into any acceleration in terms of story progression or treatment exploiting the mystery element. As a result what could have been a sure-shot winning second half, sadly fails to rise above the routine ruining a very intriguing and novel premise. 
 
In other words, Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (meaning Crimson Red Sky) is a powerful revenge saga with a novel element of suspense that had all the possibilities of becoming a highly engrossing watch. But instead of focusing on the same, the writer-director questionably remain more interested in the craft, shot-takings, visual aesthetics (cinematography) and style, missing a great opportunity.
 
The maestro innovatively incorporates Rahman’s songs and a pulsating background score in his well-conceived sequences, especially the well-shot long climax with the disclosures. But the songs are as usual not the ones we instantly find a liking for.
 
The performances are rock solid by all the major names led by Sethupathi and Jyotika is the only female lead getting some noticeable attention with the rest lacking the required emotional depth in their given characters.
 
So Mani Ratnam is right there in CHEKKA CHIVANTHA VAANAM if you look into the technicalities of the film, but the maestro struggles to appeal or impress with his content overall. Personally I really wish they had worked more on the ‘who-dun-it’ element of its script resulting in an exciting second half keeping the viewers guessing.
 
In the present form, this strictly remains an above average one time watch that could have been a rare, who-dun-it gangster film, never made before.
 
Rating : 3 / 5

Tags : CHEKKA CHIVANTHA VAANAM (Tamil) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Regional Indian Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Tamil Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Indian Regional Cinema, A Mani Ratnam film on gangsters
01 Oct 2018 / Comment ( 1 )
Ramji.S

Hi bobby, in this i cant understand vijay sethupathi role... I am sorry to say i am not regular reat movie watcher like u.
It is confusing.... vijay sethupathi is suspended police office. But what motivation he has in his mind is so complex. 
Please explain he is good guy or bad guy...
I missed some details in this movie llike he is illegitimate son or what?

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