Cheliyaa Review, What’s Behind: Brand Mani Ratnam is always curiosity generating. Irrespective of commercial result, a section of audiences wait for his films. So comes ‘Kaatru Veliyidai’ starring Karthi, Aditi Rao Hydari dubbed in Telugu as ‘Cheliyaa’ released through Dil Raju. Let’s analyze, what the film is really up to in Cheliyaa Review?
Cheliyaa Story Review: Squadron Leader and Fighter Pilot Varun (Karthi) imprisoned in Rawalpindi, Pakistan after his chopper crashes during 1999 Kargil War begins to narrate his flashback. An eccentric Varun who stays away from maintaining relationships fall in love with Dr Leela (Aditi Rao Hydari) in Sri Nagar. Though persistently confused with Varun’s personality and attitude, Leela deeply loves him and they both get into a relation. At a time when Leela gets pregnant, Varun sidesteps. Now that Varun is a prisoner in Pakistan, how he realizes pure love and escapes from Pakistan to meet Leela and their daughter Rohini is rest.
Cheliyaa Artists, Technicians Review: Not for the first time, Mani Ratnam’s romantic dramas set between a boy and girl just get a change with backdrops. ‘Cheliyaa’ runs in Air Force, Kargil War backdrop while the rest everything is same as his old classics. As a director, Mani’s efficiency lied in roping the best technical crew and amazing casting. This time too, he succeeded but at the cost of boring screenplay, arguable writing and weak setting. When lead characters become spineless and execution gets lethargic, its Ravi Varman’s breathtaking cinematography capturing exotic Himalayan locations keeps us on wow. Every frame is a visual brilliance. Editing by Sreekar Prasad made the proceedings tad slow but connectivity between present and flashback many a times exposed his sharpness. AR Rahman is one more lifeline as his BGM is astounding. ‘Hamsaro’ and ‘Alley Alley’ are the best picks while ‘Morethukochindi’ has top notch colorful grandeur. Production standards from Dil Raju and Madras Talkies are far above excellent.
Onto artists, Aditi Rao Hydari’s expressive looks overshadowed a rather energetic Karthi. Definitely, Aditi made the film a treat to watch. Every close up on Aditi pinched me at heart. Her talkative eyes communicated the depth in love. It is always easy to get distracted from male lead when a beauty like Aditi keeps on pleasing us. Apart from technicalities, if there is any reason one has to watch ‘Cheliyaa’ then it’s for Aditi.
Karthi’s emotional portrayal during climax is the only best in his ambiguous characterization. As a fighter pilot, his body language and physical fitness stunned.
Shraddha Srinath as Girija, RJ Balaji as Dr Illya Hussain and Rukmini Vijay Kumar as Aditi’s colleague looked good. Delhi Ganesh as Aditi’s grandpa was aptly set.
Cheliyaa Review Positives:
Aditi Rao Hydari
Cheliyaa Review Negatives:
Boring, Slow Narrative
Cheliyaa Review Rating Analysis: Mani Ratnam films are visually attractive and emotionally absorbing. What happens when visuals dominate the show and emotions fell into hesitancy, that’s where ‘Cheliyaa’ is made an imbalanced attempt. For those expecting a solid story and freshness in romance, Mani disappoints to the core. There are innumerable instances in the narrative as Mani kept on missing his mark.
Beginning the movie with Kargil war episode and Karthi initiating his flashback, the pedestal is properly built. Sri Nagar locations pleasing the eyes, Aditi’s entry saving Karthi from a major accident brings hero, heroine into a love bond. To and fro see-sawing between present and flashback crept in a bit of disorientation and it takes time for patrons to adjust. Though romantic track moves at a leisure pace, Rahman and Ravi Varman keeps on rescuing the film from dropping down. Interval bang is just ok as first half ends on average note.
Once Karthi’s character gets abnormal, second half continuously suffers. Particularly, Aditi’s pregnancy scene or Karthi standing before Aditi parents disordered the film’s screenplay. Finally, Karthi perceiving his inner love for Aditi is unjustifiable because there’s no reason behind a psychic hero turning completely positive. His escape from Pakistan prison is also so silly. Climax again, Karthi meeting his daughter and Aditi in a health camp is presented visually and not emotionally thus closing second half on below average note.
In totality, ‘Cheliyaa’ is visually and artistically a typical Mani Ratnam film. Content and execution wise, it’s just below average and surely opens with a widely divided talk. Commercial run is also doubtful. Cheliyaa rating goes with 2.25 stars from Cinejosh just for Aditi and Ravi Varman.
Cheliyaa Review Tagline: Aditi Rao Hydari Steals The Show
Cheliyaa Review Rating: 2.25/5.0
Reviewed by Srivaas