Kaatru Veliyidai - Movie Review

Cast: Karthi, Aditi Rao Hydari, RJ Balaji, Rukmini Vijayakumar, Delhi Ganesh
Directed by: Mani Rathnam
Produced by: Mani Rathnam
Music: A.R. Rahman
Cinematography: Ravi Varman
Editing: Sreekar Prasad


Varun aka VC (Karthi) is a fighter pilot in the Indian Air force, working in the Kashmir border. During the time of Kargil war in 1999, due to the failure of his Air strike mission, Varun’s aircraft falls in the Pakistan land and he gets lodged in the Rawalpindi Prison over there.

During his stay at the prison he keeps reminiscing his love for Leela Abraham (Aditi Rao Hydari) a doctor who gets her first posting in Srinagar and saves Varun’s life on her first day at work. Thus the happenings in the prison stay of Varun and the story of his love with Leela are narrated to us back and forth.

Varun and Leela get attracted to each other at first sight and after a few outings together, they start feeling the love for each other. But Varun’s male chauvinistic attitude, self centered behaviour and unpredictable actions make Leela, a self sufficient, self-respecting woman wary of their relationship.
Varun himself is confused as to whether he can be a good husband and a good parent as he is afraid that he will be like his father who has a bad influence on him. They get separated and after that Varun gets arrested by the Pakistani Army.

Unable to forget Leela and his love for her, Varun schemes a plan to escape from the prison and unite with his girl. Do his attempts succeed and did he meet his lover again?

Script Analysis

Veteran director Mani Ratnam is back again with a Romance flick after the 2015 super hit film ‘O Kadhal Kanmani’. ‘OKK’ was a sort of comeback for the director in terms of commercial success mainly due to the freshness in the script and youthfulness presentation. But ‘KV’ is neither fresh nor youthful and it has various other problems.

Shockingly this can be termed as the weakest script ever written by Mani Ratnam hailed across the country as a Master in screenwriting and film-making. The lead character is so poorly written that we do not get any clue of constant changes in his behavior. Hardly do we care for what happens to him or his love. The heroine’s character is slightly better.

As always in Ratnam’s films here the heroine has a job and life for herself and she demands a equal relationship and not to be treated as a queen or a dog by her partner. But still one wonders what makes such a sensible woman go back to her problematic boy friend again and again. The director would want us to believe that it is love that brings her back to the boy but the screenplay has failed to establish this. The girl gets anger, gets aways from the boy, the boy apologizes, the girl forgives, and they reunite. So far so good. But if these things keep happening again and again what would one feel about the movie? If the same thing occurs again in the climax, then what is the point of making a movie for 147 minutes?

Can’t Mani tell us if the boy really feels for his mistakes? From the screenplay, it seems that he longs for the girl and not feels for his mistakes. The screenplay makes us think that the boy is not ready to change but he wants to live with the girl who cannot tolerate his chauvinistic behavior. Why on earth the girl with so much self respect, accepts the boy without any guarantee of his change of attitude?

On the positive side there are a few scenes with Mani Ratnam Trademark here and there. The scene in which Varun confronts Leela’s parents and the scene involving a small but effective conversation about love, between Aditi’s two friends (played by RJ Balaji and Rukmini Vijayakumar) make us want for more such scenes in an otherwise slowly narrated boring film filled with redundant scenes.

As one would expect of a Mani Ratnam film, the visuals are flamboyant and treat to the eyes thanks to the Cinematographer and Art director. Visual grandeur is one big reason apart from the music that helps us sit through this poorly written film.

Performance AnalysiDirected by: Mani Rathnams

Karthi has toned his physique and appears clean-shaven for the first time to suit the requirements of the character. While his earnestness to do justice to the character is quite evident, the final output is not up to the mark. Probably he is not able to overcome the image of a rural guy or lower middle class urban youngster roles he has often portrayed in his films.

Aditi Rao Hydari makes a welcome debut as she looks beautiful and fits the character (due credits to the costume designer). Her performance is also good. She is like a fresh air that makes us feel refreshing.
RJ Balaji and Rukmini Vijayakumar make a positive impact with smaller roles while the latter entices with her dance skills also. Veterans Delhi Ganesh and KPAC Lalitha have been wasted in miniscule characters.

A.R.Rahman’s songs are pleasing on the ears and beautifully picturised. Ravi Varman’s Cinematography is top notch. The chillness and freshness of Kashmir has been transferred to the screen. Special credits to Art Director Sharmishta Roy for his selection of catchy locations and attractive sets. Sreekar Prasad has done a neat job on the Editor’s table.

Positive points

Visual Treat

Negative Points

Weak Script
Poorly written characters
Extremely slow paced narration


The movie deals with a love affair between a girl with self respect and a boy who is short tempered and chauvinistic. Instead of going deep into the conflict the movie makes an unsuccessful attempt to say that love can bridge any gap.

Kaatru Veliyidai: Spectacular show with a weak content
Kaatru Veliyidai - Movie Review Kaatru Veliyidai - Movie Review Reviewed by Tamil Cinemaa on 5:15 AM Rating: 5

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