Neethaane En Ponvasantham review

Neethaane En Ponvasantham is a Tamil romance movie written and directed by Gautham Menon, featuring Jeeva and Samantha in the lead roles.

The venture is jointly produced by Gautham Menon‘s Photon Kathaas and RS Infotainment and will have cinematography by MS. Prabhu and Om Prakash.

The film’s score and soundtrack are being composed by Ilaiyaraja. The film was simultaneously shot in Telugu as Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu with actor Nani playing Jeeva‘s role. The film was released worldwide on 14 December 2012 to mixed reviews.

Movie: Neethaane En Ponvasantham
Directed by Gautham Menon
Produced by Reshma Ghatala
Venkat Somasundaram
Elred Kumar
Jayaram,dhar,sai
Written by Gautham Menon
Star Cast: Jeeva as Raghu, Samantha as Nithya Vasudevan, Santhanam as Prakash, Anupama Kumar
Music: Ilaiyaraja
Cinematography: MS. Prabhu, Om Prakash
Editing by Anthony
Studio Photon Kathaas, RS Infotainment
Release date: 14 December 2012

Neethaane En Ponvasantham movie new stills 586x432 Neethaane En Ponvasantham review

The dimension of love keeps changing as it matures and every individual would have witnessed it as they grow in age.

Gautham  Menon has always been proficient in crafting feel-good romantic entertainers that has been evident with his debut film ‘Minnale’, ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’ and ‘Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya’. Although, ‘Romance’ has been the central theme of these films, he has managed to exhibit the different dimensions of love. ‘Neethaane En Ponvasantham’ is yet another avatar of love revolving around Varun (Jeeva) and Nithya Menon (Samantha) from their age of 8 to 24yrs. Over the years, the theme of romance-centric films has captured the interests of universal audiences.

The problem with Neethaane En Ponvasantham is the fallible writing. The concept is perfect as it kindles the emotions of love, especially during the second hour, but its erroneous screenplay and flimsy dialogues that spoil everything.

While a film is conceptualized with a wafer-thin story line  it is obviously the engrossing screenplay that would keep the audiences intact. The film is lengthy in parts with the first half running to 90 minutes and except for Santhanam, it doesn’t contain anything impressive. Well, Jiiva as usual walks away with winning laurels with his naturalistic performance and it’s a great re-launch of Samantha in Kollywood (although her debut film was ‘Baana Kaathadi’, it wasn’t a success). Of course, female lead roles have a strong characterization in Gautham Menon films and so is Nithya Menon. Every actor in the film has excelled in their roles. Actor Raghavendra as Jeeva’s father is brilliant.

The portions involving Jeeva and his family have been very well captured. Thanks to Gautham Menon’s special affinity towards his family as the moments are so realistic.

The momentum picks up soon after the intermission as Jeeva goes in search of Samantha to Kerala (resemblance of VTV again). The egoistic clash between Jeeva and Samantha before intermission is surpassing as the actors perform without a single cut. Kudos to the cinematographer for his crane shots and Ilayaraja’s background score.

Ilayaraja has strained a lot over his giving grand efforts on background score. Songs are pretty mellisonant, but they test your patience as the tracks keep occurring relentlessly. Gautham Menon always loves capturing the moments between guy and gal walking across the deserted roads, beaches, spending times at coffee shops and kissing. Well, there aren’t steamy scenes in the film, but romance is expressed through it. Samantha’s dialogues ‘I learned two things from You – One is Cricket and other one is …..’ (yes, watch it over the screens). The entire conversation between Jiiva and Samantha during the night before his marriage with another girl is a cherry-pick of this film. Santhanam keeps the film fresh and his spoof on Karthik-Jessie VTV sequences leaves the audiences in complete enthrallment.

Ah! VTV Ganesh saying ‘Inga Enna Solludhu Jenny Jenny nu solludha’ and Santhanam humiliating him is the peak of laughter-riot.

Neethaane En Ponvasantham’ is a decent film that will surely attract female audiences, but it could have been better if the screenplay was done in an engaging manner. Since youth groups are not very much adhered to Ilayaraja’s music, it may or may not work out as music was an intriguing part in Gautham Menon’s previous films.

Verdict: Average… Gautham Menon trademark missing.

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Comments

  1. says

    Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu movie review

    Movie : Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu
    Rating: 3/5
    Cast : Nani, Samantha, Krishnudu and others
    Directed by : Gautham Menon
    Produced by : C Kalyan
    Banner : Teja Cinema
    Music : Ilayaraja
    Release Date : 2012-12-14

    Gautham Menon is known for making beautiful romantic films and this is brand GM film with all the elements that we expect from his movie. Tad slow yet feel good movie.

    What is it about?

    Varun (Nani) and Nithya (Samantha) are childhood friends who fall in love in their teenage. Certain egos and personal goals come between them and their love will be put to test. How they overcome all the hurdles is what this film is about.

    Performances:

    Nani is superb as Varun. He is a very natural actor who could easily go into the skin of any character. We have seen him doing energetic and entertaining characters before. This time he plays a soft spoken boy next door who is madly in love. He has come up with winning performance. Samantha is a revelation. She has proven as a fine actress before, but this time she delivers an excellent performance. Her expressions are very good. Krishnudu and the rest of the star cast are good.

    On the Technical Front:

    Music by Ilayaraja is decent. Couple of songs are haunting and background score is nice. Cinematography is beautiful. Editing is okay. Technically the movie is up to the mark.

    Director Gautham Menon proves that he has great command over romantic tales. He captures minute details in love and this film is not an exception to it. However he should have mixed right dose of entertainment to make this appeal to all the sections of audiences. For now it is only the movie that will appeal to those who are in love. As a director this may not be Gautham’s best, but it is definitely not bad.

    Analysis:

    Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu doesn’t have any story. It is just a journey of a couple who come across different situations in their life. Like every Guatham movie, this also moves at its own pace. It hardly moves at times and gets stuck to one point more than once. That may not go down well with the audiences who hate watching slow romantic films.

    Most of the movie is conversational and people who expect punches will be disappointed. Why because the conversations are very natural and personal. So if you are not involved into the film they might seem boring. Music and performance of the lead pair are the main assets for this film which has its moments.

    It is a very urbane film with feel good factor which would appeal to young hearts. It depends on your tastes and feelings whether to like it or not. Target audiences should help this film to sail safe at the box office. Will they? Let’s wait and watch.

    Verdict: Slow paced romantic tale with some fine moments

  2. Elango says

    When a film with Gautham Menon brand arrives in theatres, it’s always a celebration for youth groups and cohort that looks out for unconventional movies. In spite of receiving bouquets and brickbats for his inspiration of western movies, the director has captivated the hearts of South Cinema audiences. His filmography stands out as the best illustration, but Neethaane En Ponvasantham turns out to be little mediocre for many reasons.

    LOVE is a universal concept that doesn’t miss anyone to be fallen for it. Or else, Slumdog Millionaire would have not gained the global recognition and despites many versions, the final one by James Cameron’s Titanic would have not remained as a standout. It’s the magic of love that crosses beyond the ages over the screens. If Gautham Menon had realized this ideology and crafted the tale of Neethaane En Ponvasantham, the film would have been an everlasting showpiece.

    It’s not an easy attempt to make a film based on the journey of love between couples from childhood to their teenage. Yes, the filmmaker comes up with some interesting elements that are quite naturalistic that include the characters and situations. But, the screenplay is flimsy that it scatters your attention asking for final credits to occur soon.

    The film doesn’t have a complex storyline as it traverses through the life of Varun (Jiiva) and Nithya Vasudevan (Samantha) from their childhood days, adolescent phase and matured stage of love. The concept is unique as not many filmmakers touched this concept before. But the actual problem begins with the dull screenplay and most of the scenes are moreover like a caricature that doesn’t help the audiences to relate with him, except the ego quotients that strike between the lead pairs.

    Apart from these elements, Gautham Menon keeps on persistently portraying the heroines in similar shades. Of course, you will find whole lot of similarities between Reena (Minnale), Jessie (VTV) and Nithya (NEP). This creates a kind of Deja Vu experience for the audiences. ‘Enakku Enna Venumnu Enakke Theriyaadhu’ has been a hackneyed dialogue in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya and it irks to hear the same dialogues from Nithya as well.

    There are few scenes that are commendably captured. One scene where, Jiiva gets serious about life when his father is humiliated over his brother’s marriage alliance dropped has been done fabulously. The dialogues pertaining to this situation, where Jiiva’s father (played by Raghavendra) utters, “I don’t feel low about myself. I Know who I am and I will take care of my family’ justifies his character and his unfulfilled promise of taking his wife to Singapore has been shown in a humorous way. At times, it develops a feeling, why not Gautham Menon make a family based film as he could easily make an impressive show out of it.

    While Jiiva’s character is jovial mixed with fun and responsibilities, the problems seen through the eyes of Samantha role is perfect. Watch out for the scene in Kerala, where she says, ‘Varun you have put tick to the boxes of finding better job, money and now the next box to be ticked is ‘ME’, right? Is that ‘ME’ or ‘MARRIAGE’?’ Such scenes deserve appreciations and the night before Jiiva’s marriage, where they chat with sadness, confusion and little pinch of fun is very well shot. Santhanam is the only relief as his hilarious quotients steal the show. The spoof on VTV scenes followed by his witty lines with Jiiva is outstanding. If not for Santhanam, the film would have gone below average graph right in the first hour itself.

    Ilayaraja’s musical score is a big asset to the film, but the youngsters cannot relate to the songs composed in ancient style. The background score with the orchestras of Trumpets, Trombones and Strings are so harsh in places. Perhaps, Ilayaraja is beyond criticisms, but it has to be seen whether the music matches well with the film.

    Unlike his previous films, Gautham Menon avoids foreign locations, though we hear names of many places uttered by Samantha and Jiiva – Malta, Australia, Edinburg, etc. Most of the locations are interiors and the Tuition classes shot in Gautham Menon’s office (Introduction scene of Kamal Haasan in Vettaiyaadu Vilayaadu) have got good art direction.

    On the whole, Neethaane En Ponvasantham stops halfway from gaining the interests of audiences… Lengthy screenplay, too much of dragging dialogues (the message that could have been conveyed in 5 words takes 5 phrases) and sluggish moments make it an average fare. On the pars, thanks to Jiiva and Samantha for their screen presence keeps the audience intact.

    Verdict: Doesn’t exceed the expectations

  3. Selvakumar says

    Romance reigns supreme. Much recently films that revolve around love stories are making it big. Joining the list is Goutham Vasudev Menon. The prolific filmmaker who gave a new meaning to love with films like Minnale, Khakha Khakha and VTV is back with his next NEP. aThe film is a candy floss love story between Varun and Nithya, played by Jiiva and Samantha respectively.
    Produced by RS Infotainment and Photon Kathas, the movie also has Santhanam plays a prominent role.
    Maestro Ilayaraja is back with a bang and his songs add strength to the film.
    The movie narrates four stages in the lives of varun and Nithya and their love escapades. There is no story but rather a thrust on events in their romantic life. From school till college they both love each other which often breaks for no reason. Their romance see hot and cold blowing too often.
    Finally when the day arrives, did the coupe get back to each other and marry? Watch it on screen.
    Jiiva has given his best try,. As a school and college student, he amazes. His cool and casual looks add pep. Samantha adds strength with her performance. She has proved her value as actress. Santhanam provides some relief in the slow narration of events.
    The movie has shadesd of Alaipayuthae, Kushi and KSY. It begins well and the first half is super cool. But the second half loses pace and it gets struck.
    Thanks to Ilayaraja’s songs and cool youthful dialogues, NEP manages a watch. Unlike his earlier films on romance, Goutham doesn’t manage to strike a chord with youngsters in NEP. Sadly he missed a trick or two.

  4. Ravichandran SAC says

    Neethaane En Ponvasantham, a name which has become exceedingly popular in a lot of households in Tamil Nadu released today to packed houses. We’ve heard Illayaraja’s score for the album and fell in love with it and then got around to seeing the trailer and started making guesses. But, now that’s the film is finally here, we are going to find how green the grass is actually on the other side.

    Gautham Menon has slowly carved himself into the romance niche. Some fans have even started to call him “the king of romance”. His last outing with a similar film, in VTV, got fabulous response from the masses. In Neethaane En Ponvasantham, it can be clearly seen that he sets him ambitions high and target an ever larger group of youth including the really-young to the married who look back to pleasant stories in their past. Despite all the constraints, he continues to be earnest in his movies, and doesn’t give in to masala at any point of time. But truth be told, NEP is perhaps the most different Gautham Menon movie we have seen and his leading to this release day is quite staggering and unique if you take a close look.

    In all fairness, Neethaane En Ponvasantham’s greatest strength would be the way it connects with fans. It has the little success formulas we have seen in Gautham’s movies in the past – a narrative lead actor, an emotional actress and some mind- blowing music. This time around, he weaves his story a little differently and takes us through three different life stages of (Raghu)varan and Nithya’s life. The little details lead to you towards your fond memories, and make you smile at least a few times one way or the other. The romance doesn’t take the backseat in any way and is always the focal point, may it be ego clashes, dialogues that melt a bit too much, or the story background.

    To be the star of a Gautham film requires a lot of talent, for the director demands a ton of skills whenever he comes up with an idea. Jiiva, fits into the shoe this time around and does well. The actor, accompanied by some music, some typical dialogues and a comedy sidekick comes of as cute to the female fans and doesn’t overdo his bits to push male counterparts to boredom.

    Samantha on the other hand is a textbook heroine whose character confuses the hell out of herself, and her fans. The thing is, that’s good news for the viewers who find pleasure in spotting resemblance in their own lives. For a change, Nithya gets a lot more screentime than actual heroines and her individual shots need to be credited to Gautham once again. The additional sketching to her role adds weight to the role.

    Through Santhanam, the director mocks the very scenes he wrote and the characters he developed, giving a sense of unexpected satisfaction. His usual brilliance and timing gives something new to Gautham’s films, a sense of youth that we didn’t see much till now, matched only by the cult role of Ganesh in VTV. His character fits into the puzzle appearing now and then, ensuring that the fighting couple taking the forward don’t have enough time to sink the ship.

    Illayaraja’s music have won hearts already, to put it safely. But for those of you who are looking forward to the music videos, you better lower your expectations now. Gautham’s practicality kicks in, and there are literally no dream sequences for the songs. That’s good and bad, for at the cost of sticking to the storyline, his videos wouldn’t mean too much when watched separately. They in fact, have too much going on for a song to divert you from the usual music. And sadly, you cannot completely enjoy either the maestro’s tunes or Gautham’s detailing when put together.

    Another very different aspect of the movie is the cinematography, aptly helped by the art direction. One always expects a bunch of close up shots with romance, but M.S.Prabhu and Om Prakash’s camera does well to capture emotions even when it’s far away. In few scenes, Gautham actually have the actors proceeding for long durations without breaks and impresses even without cameras closing in on their faces. Also, they team does a good job of making the most of what’s available, having no exotic locations or eye-catching action to show off their skills.

    Although the entire package appears to be very appealing, a few aspects of Gautham’s story telling have been left to hang. The hit and miss love affair is known to all, but a few things appear monotonous as the movie proceeds. Songs appear in tandem and follow each other way to quickly. The impressive BGMs stand out well, but change too quickly in the latter half of the film and look absurd.

    Right at the very end, after so many places where the audience cheered in joy, a few occasions without logic, and some unconvincing dialogues stand out rather glaringly and deny the movie a happy ending. But, despite all the odds, viewers will have a lot of talking points about the film and can have long chats about shots that helped them draw bridges to real-life. Overall, it hits many bells with the youth to be successful.

    Rating – 3/5 – For the cast, the detailing and another earnest storyline

    Verdict – A worthy watch for the romance and the memories

  5. Ravichandran SAC says

    Life gets defined by the mind altering moments which occurs at the most unexpected circumstances in life.

    Gautham Vasudev Menon continues to explore such moments in his distinctive style in Neethaane En Ponvasantham, where he refines the threads he already used in Vaaranam Aayiram and Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya. Neethane En Ponvasantham fits the bill perfectly as a so called ‘concluding’ part of the trilogy.

    Synopsis

    Gautham Menon experiments in a ‘moment’ driven story this time by surfacing through four chapters of Varun (Jiiva) and Nithya (Samantha), from the age of 8 to 23 years old. Childhood buddies, Varun and Nithya share an unconditional bond since school days. Even when tested by ego clashes and misunderstanding, destiny always brings them together at different stages of life. But what happens when Varun decides to put aside love for the backburner of his middle class family? Will their priorities and perspective towards life put an end to their dreamy love?

    Story – Screenplay

    Gautham Menon always has his own style of telling a story and Neethane En Ponvasantham is no exception. As soon as the film starts, he clearly conveys by introduction credits that this film will be the ‘moments’ of the life of Varun and Nithya. The main plot does not differ from the tried and tested formula to portray the misunderstandings, ego trips, high octane expectations and societal pressures present in the urban relationships. However, what make the difference are the sharp dialogues, stylistic presentation and realistically designed characters.

    Like VTV, Gautham does not have any antagonist in the film but lets the priorities and decisions of the lead characters to complicate the bond they share. At many instances, he lets Ilayaraja’s soulful music to move the plot rather than the scenes itself. As it travels through four chapters, it gives a sense of belief to the word, ‘destiny’ which is omitted by many. He brings in the nostalgic mood at all the four chapters by interweaving the right relatable situations such as inter-college cultural, childhood gender mockeries, cricket matches and tuition centre.

    Even though the minute nostalgic details do forgive the snail pace of the film to a certain extent, it fails to salvage the lengthy scenes and mundane, repetitive break ups of the lead characters. Especially the pre-interval scene shot in just one top angle is thoroughly disappointing. It makes us wonder why Gautham decided to shoot it in a wide shot when that is the most emotionally defining scene of the film. The VTV hangover is evident through the confused character design of Nithya, not that it is wrong but it does get tiring after a while.

    However, Gautham makes it up a little with a compelling climax.

    In overall, if only the screenplay have been more crisp and edgy, Neethane En Ponvasantham could have repeated the magic of VTV.

    Casting & Performance

    Gautham always displays his actors like never before and he has done it here again. Jiiva lives as Varun at each chapter convincingly. Even though it is quite hard for us to see him in uniform, he brings out the high school playfulness gently at the scene where he describes Nithya as a third person. Especially at the climax, he collates his previous films’ experience and delivers with much maturity. Samantha undoubtedly carries her best performance till date in Tamil by shouldering a very complex character, much alike to Jessie in VTV. Her articulation, be it as the charmingly arrogant Nithya during the school days, a girl blinded by unconditional love or the matured contented expression she gives at the climax, she does it close to perfection. However, she does suffer when there is a need for her to display mixed emotions.

    Even though the film travels in a serious note, Santhanam’s character lifts the engaging level of the film every time he appears. With his witty one liners and comic timing, he adds a different colour to a Gautham film. To glorify his current fan base, he even has an opening song and with the post interval he steals the show. Lastly the promising talent, Vidyulekha as Jenny, compliments Santhanam perfectly.

    In overall, Neethaane En Ponvasantham might be a path breaking film for the actors personally.

    Technicality

    Ilayaraja, undoubtedly tops the list with his Godly musical touch at every scenes. His BGM’s timings are perfect, bringing the audience much more closer to the film at each stage. Even though the soundtracks have a strong sense of 80s and 90s feel, it never fails to compliment the scenes. Gautham, a self-confessed Ilayaraja fan have made his idol move his story. Cinematographers, MS Pabhu and Om Prakash have done a decent job by capturing each stages of life in different light gels and angles. Speaking about chapters, kudos to the art director Rajeevan, for bringing out each period of time so realistically.

    On the other hand, editor Anthony falls in his lengthy editing trap once again which does garner the mockeries of the audience when the film starts to drag at the end.

    Bottomline

    Conclusively, Neethane En Ponvasantham even though has the poetic approach as Gautham Menon’s other films; it lacks that one killer scene (such as the central park scene in VTV) which might have pushed the film to a classic status. Instead, it is cramped with lengthy scenes and repetitive dialogues which diminish the novelty of the film. However, with Ilayaraja’s soulful music, realistically relatable scenes and dedicated performances, Neethane En Ponvasantham might end up as a favourite ‘date’ film.

    Rating: 3.5/5

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