By Rinku Gupta

Madras Talkies' Vaanam Kottatum is directed by Dhana with Mani Ratnam co- writing the script with his protege.

When Bose ( Sarathkumar) commits a murder in a fit of rage, his wife Chandra ( Radhika) is utterly distraught. Wanting to bring up her kids Selvam ( Vikram Prabhu) and Mangai ( Aishwarya Rajesh) away from the world of violence, she moves to Chennai and makes a new life there. Through grit and hard work, despite the looming background of a father in jail, her children begin to rise in life. Just when things seem on an up- swing, Bose is released from jail. Conflict now arises when the siblings, now grown-up ,are unable to adjust to having a father around, interfering in their world. Bose too has trouble adjusting to a world which seems to have changed drastically. Chandra seems to left bearing the brunt in the midst of it all. Can the rising conflict created by these 2 clashing worlds within this small family, ever get resolved?

Dhana has extracted superb performances from his cast. Radhika and Sarathkumar are the pillars of the story and they along with Balaji Sakthivel ( as Bose's brother) create a world that parents and children can perhaps relate to, with a clash of generations and time frames. The sheer subtlety of their performances is a delight to watch.
The film abounds in feel good, heartwarming moments, exploring relationships between characters that are well - etched and make you root for them.
For Vikram Prabhu this is an excellent outing, and he displays a certain naturelness in his acting. He takes us through every emotion, from anger and humor to romance and familial conflict with subtlety and conviction. Nanda is intense while Amitash, Madonna and Shanthnu do justice to their roles. Aishwarya Rajesh is a bundle of energy, standing shoulder to shoulder with her brother, displaying courage, brains and a sense of responsibility. The camraderie and playful teasing between the siblings is well brought out by the duo, as is the way they react in a similar manner to their father's re-
appearance in their lives.
The film is a visual delight, be it the home interiors, the work places or the rural backdrop.
Sid Sriram' s music is another highlight and sets the mood with his montages, bgm and even the silences.

On the flip side, the revenge angle seems to be too easily resolved. The film moves at its own pace, allowing emotions to sink in, which viewers expecting everything to move in the fast lane, may have to accustom themselves to. The romance between Madonna and Vikram Prabhu feels a trifle lacking in the way its written.

A subject of familial conflict, and the upheavals caused by the result of one person's action, on many, leaves you with a message without any preaching. Feel good moments aplenty and some excellent performances make it a heartwarming watch, especially for family audiences.

Rating : 3.5/ 5

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