every time a mani ratnam movie is released, there is a lot of curiosity everywhere. The ace director’s latest film is ‘Cheliyaa’, which has Karthi and Aditi Rao as the main couple. let’s see if it lives up to his expectations or not.
The film’s story takes place during the 1999 Kargil War, where Dr. Leela (Aditi Rao Hydari) falls in love with a fighter pilot named Varun (Karthi). The romance ignites immediately, but Varun’s commitment-phobic attitude continues to drive Leela away from the relationship.
The twist in the story comes when Karthi is imprisoned in Pakistan due to the tense war situation. The rest of the story is about how Karthi breaks free from Pakistan and wins his love back.
The first thing that immediately strikes you in cheliyaa is the amazing camera work. ravi varman’s cinematography is astounding as the cashmere footage, the main couple, and the entire set up of the film are rendered in a super stylish way. Karthi looks handsome as the fighter pilot and pulls off a difficult role with ease. His acting during the climax is top notch.
aditi rao makes an impressive debut in the south. She looks absolutely gorgeous as Mani Ratnam has put her on display in a way never seen before. Aditi’s emotional performance is the backbone of the film, as she delivers in both the glamor and acting departments. The first half of the film is filled with typical mani ratnam romance, amazing chemistry from the main couple, and good drama.
ar rahman’s background score is another staple of the film. the way his music elevates the emotions deserves a special mention. the climax of the film has also been well executed. the scene between the main couple and the emotions shown during this time works well.
After scoring all the brownie parts during the first half, Mani Ratnam makes the romantic drama pretty slow during the last part. things move at a snail’s pace and this can go against a certain section of the audience altogether.
Karthi’s characterization during the second half comes off a bit here and there. no adequate justification is given as to why he is avoiding the relationship. If these scenes had been treated well, the second half and the movie would have made a lot of sense.
except for two songs, a r rahman’s score is pretty good. some hit songs could have elevated the movie even more.
cheliyaa is one of the most compelling movies in recent times and credit should go to the creators for choosing some amazing locations and spending the right money to make the air force setting look natural. the dubbing done for the movie looks good and so do the simple and easy dialogues. The styling done for both stars is ravishing as Karthi looks apt in those military outfits.
as for the director mani ratnam, he does a good job with the film. his love for images, romantic conversations and music are intact in cheliyaa, as he shows all of this against a unique backdrop. but he spoils the wonderful drama during the second half when things go off the rails many times. The way Karthi escapes from Pakistan, the repeated love scenes between the main couple can make you impatient.
cheliyaa is a film that is sure to elicit mixed reactions. While a part of the audience will love the romance and the taking of Mani Ratnam, the normal audience will find it very difficult to enjoy this serious romantic drama. Karthi and Aditi Rao’s sizzling chemistry, entertaining first half are core assets. but the slow and somewhat dragging second half makes things a bit difficult. All in all, all those who like slow but emotional romantic dramas can surely give this movie a shot, but for others, cheliyaa is just an average movie this weekend.
123telugu.com rating: 3/5
reviewed by 123telugu team
click here to see the review in telugu
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