96 (Tamil) Review & Rating|
96 Review: Watch It Before Sunset And Savour It For The Rest Of The Day
96 is Tamil Cinema's answer to Before Sunset.
Haven't seen Before Sunset? Then go and Watch 96. Have watched Before Sunset? Then again go and watch 96. This is a strong recommendation for the romantic drama of a couple of youngsters from the 1996 batch, the eponymous 96. The movie starts as Vijay Sethupathi's Ramachandran aka Ram and Trisha's Janaki Devi aka Janu.
The journey of Ramachandran
As the names themselves evoke an emotion in you, that of love and respect, 96 is one such film. The movie starts as the life of a traveling photographer (a different profession in our days of IT professionals) Ram and sets the tone for us to understand a bit of his character. He is sentimental.
Once he visits his native Tamil Nadu. He goes to Tanjore where he was born and brought up. Is it just that? He meditates upon the important landmarks of the place and the memories that bring tales from the depths of his heart. Sounds similar? Yes, Autograph. But that's where the comparisons end. We all have similar nostalgic moments at some point in time. It's a generic setting for such films. Where the director C. Prem Kumar sets the film apart from the others is the point of view narration. He went as objective as possible. Let's see how with 96 review.
When Ramachandran aka Ram goes to the venerable city of Thanjavur, the places like the bus station where his parents landed at after their marriage, the hospital where he was born, the place that was the first major shopping centre in his town, and most importantly, the school where he met the love of his life, Janaki Devi... Everything goes as per the set template.
But as a self-respecting Tamil hero, Ram first visits the high school and it is where he meets his friends which leads to him being added to a dormant WhatsApp group of their high school batch and which in turn leads to the meet of the 1996 school year batchmates. Janaki comes to the meet to meet Ram. Or rather Ram meets his Janu again in the friends' meet.
Heart-strings tug. The guitar songs of love start again and we get to see Ram and Janu's love story of 22 years ago in 1996 interspersed with the events of the reunion. From now on the movie plunges forward within its own universe. We get to Janaki's point of view apart from just Ram's like in the above-mentioned Autograph.
She has her own love story. That is... with Ram. We get to know her feelings equally well. Meanwhile, we get the scene where Janaki keeps her palm on the heart of Ram and the priceless expressions Vijay Sethupathi delivers can only be experienced as words cannot always describe love and the emotions it causes.
We get to know why Janu is named Janaki Devi in the first place. It's not just the director's metaphor to the greatest love stories of all time. There is a cute story in the movie why Trisha's character is named by her parents as Janaki Devi. The best thing about 96 is that the director didn't resort to manipulating our emotions with the weapon called Nostalgia. He let the story developed organically. Like a seed becoming a bud and then comes out as a small plant.
Before and After Sunset
The second half which resorts to cinematic plot devices like time and tension, one of the lead characters has to catch a flight. It's an organic constraint the director came up with in order to create a bit of tension in the otherwise leisurely proceedings. Most of the second half unfold as the events of a single night and largely involve the conversations between Ram and Janu — why they never connected, what has happened in their lives during the past 22 years, and the feelings that they still and if they have for each other. The story is now After the Sunset.
The graceful musical notes created for this film by Govindan, the elegant and poignant visuals conjured up by the cinematographers Mahendiran Jeyaraju and N. Shanmuga Sundaram all add depth to the proceedings. Even when a few and far between cinematic moments turn up, Prem Kumar dealt with them to deliver us the brilliantly executed climax. And the young actors Aadithya Bhaskar and Gouri kishen who played younger Ram and younger Janu are adorable in their act. They make us root for these two guys.
96 is not just a movie or a point of view tale that whitewashes or blackwashes the hero's memories. It takes an objective stand between the hero and heroine and their petrichor like unconditional love among the violent tales in the name love that are coming up these days. It runs slow like a good memory does and like Before Sunset, it dwells mostly on the conversations between the lead pair. It's an experience to savour for. Just don't miss it!
96 (Tamil) Critic Reviews
96 (Tamil) User Reviews
96 The Movie features Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha in the lead roles. Ever since the trailer and songs of the film were released, the movie has created a lot of positive buzz around itself. The film which is touted to be a romantic entertainer has finally hit the screens today in a positive atmosphere. The makers have held a special premiere show for the celebs and the press. Below is their response for 96 movie.
The initial response for the movie is supremely positive where the audience are raving about the film and especially the performances of Trisha and Vijay Sethupathi. The writer and director of the film, Prem Kumar seems to have done a great job in executing a feel-good love story with beautiful moments which connect well with the audience. 96 movie is said to be high on nostalgia factor as the initial story is set up in the 90s.
While the performances are top notch, 96 The Movie is said to be very strong on the technical front as well. The music by Govind Vasantha is said to be very blissful and as we all know, Kaathale Kaathale has turned out to be a huge hit among the audience. Director Prem Kumar seems to have extracted beautiful performances from his cast and gave a perfect romantic drama without any cliches that we see in regular films.
96 The Movie is being compared to the cult Malayalam film Premam which was also a feel-good love story which reminded the audience of their childhood memories and made them nostalgic. Vijay Sethupathi seems to have impressed the audience with his subtle and natural performance (yet again) and the surprise element this time seems to be Trisha who gave an outstanding performance. Chinmayi's dubbing for her role is said to be yet another highlight of the film.
Stay tuned for 96 movie review and more public talk.
What is 96 about?
Love. Romance. Kaadhal. Pyaar. Prema. Whatever the name or whatever the language. It's the same. A feeling of magic. A knot in the heart. A lump in the throat. Just like the fresh and first rain of the season. Like a guitar song. Noted Tamil Cinematographer comes up with the love story of two people, who belong to the 1996 batch and hence the title, which sprawls over a period of time including their middle age.
Ram and Janaki! Many memories. The names are enough to say how the bond is going to be. Inseparable as souls and physically they are miles apart sometimes. It all starts in the school and runs through their youth and even into their middle age in various phases of their lives.
Vijay Sethupathi is Ram. Trisha Krishnan is Janaki aka Janu. She throws a flowered pot on his head which he just escapes from in the school saying get lost. They happen to meet after long gaps and it's still the same. magic. Like the other coming of age love stories, 96 is mostly about nostalgia through the eyes of love.
What to expect from 96?
The lead pair
Despite being one of the youngest careers in Tamil star heroes, Vijay Sethupathi already developed a cult-like following which saw him raise in the eyes of people as Makkal Selvan. He is a natural when it comes to acting and we can write volumes about his spontaneity in various nuances of histrionics. The way he looks from the trailer when Trisha touches his heart with her palm and his blushing in the recently released sneak peeks are just samples of his prowess. Fans go gaga over him is no wonder.
Trisha established herself as one of the lead actresses over the last decade and a half and she still commands the same respect and fan following speaks volumes about her longevity and obviously about her talent. After a long gap, she landed a proper chance. A strong role worthy of her presence in a film. It is also her return to a proper romantic role in a long time. Her pairing with Makkal Selvan is enough for the audience to flock to the theatres.
C. Prem Kumar may be new to direction. But he's not to cinemas. He is a cinematographer and already worked with Vijay Sethupathi. This is indeed his second film with the actor. Whenever cinematographers turn directors, people expect visual poetry on the screens and it is no different with 96. Add to the fact that Singer Chinmayi who worked closely with the film, proclaimed the film is sheer magic. And it will surely be in many ways.
Music and cinematography
Music is the heart and soul of any love story. If the music clicks, it will do half the job for the film. 96 musical score is composed by Govind Menon. The songs are mesmerizing. Especially Kaadhale Kaadhale is sheer master class. Anthaathi already struck a chord with the audience big time.
As for the cinematography, C. Prem Kumar's presence is always an asset though he is not handling it for this film. It is Mahendiran Jeyaraju and N. Shanmuga Sundaram who took the responsibility of making this film a visual poetry. From what is evidenced by the trailer, we can rest assured of this. With everything going for it, 96 is going to storm the theatres this weekend.
Watch this space for 96 review, rating, and complete analysis. Be right back!