Verdict: The beauty of Mani Ratnam’s magical emotions.
Cheliyaa is a dubbed version of Tamil movie titled Kaatru Veliyidai. Both the movies are simultaneously releasing worldwide today. For the first time, Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari have teamed up with Mani Ratnam for Cheliyaa. When Dil Raju announced that he will be dubbing Kaatru Veliyidai, a good buzz has been created among trade circles. He also bought the dubbing rights of Mani Ratnam’s earlier super hit movie Ok Bangaram. This film is the 14th collaboration after 25 years between the two gems of Indian cinema – Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman. Let’s see if they were able to repeat the success.
Movie is set with the backdrop of Kargil war where Varun Chakrapani aka VC (Karthi) is a fighter pilot in Indian Air Force. Leela Abraham (Aditi Rao Hydari) is a doctor in duty at army base camp. VC gets badly injured in an accident and is treated by Leela. They immediately connect with each other and love blossoms between them. While on Kargil war, VC’s aircraft gets hit by the enemy’s missile. VC is captured and jailed in Rawalpindi prison along with two other colleagues. Rest of the story is how they escape from the enemy and return to India. Cheliyaa captures beautiful emotions between VC and Leela.
Karthi is terrific in the role of a fighter pilot and has put his life and soul to his character. He is seamless in portraying the emotions and is absolutely fascinating. This is a dream role for Aditi Rao Hydari. She is extremely beautiful and should be appreciated for her acting prowess. The chemistry between them is what makes Cheliyaa special. RJ Balaji as Dr. Illyas has played his role well. Delhi Ganesh is good in the role of the Colonel and Leela’s grandfather. Rukmini Vijayakumar did her role well as Dr. Nidhi and Leela’s colleague.
Written, produced and directed by Mani Ratnam, Cheliyaa is another feather in his cap. Every scene has his style attached to it. He has succeeded again in getting the emotions right. Ravi Varman’s cinematography is spell bounding and all the visuals reminds us of Mani Ratnam’s earlier movies. A.R. Rahman’s music and background score are magical and magnanimous. Editing by A. Sreekar Prasad is crisp and neat. Mani’s screenplay is novel but might not gel with mass audience. Production values by Madras Talkies are a dosage of grandeur and everything rich.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Watch Cheliyaa without any second thoughts if you are a lover of Mani Ratnam’s movies. Breathtaking cinematography, magical music and background score, a novel way of storytelling and an amalgamation of soulful love story intertwined with beautiful emotions make Cheliyaa a must watch. Don’t miss it.
— By Ajay Mudunuri