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Lovestruck: Vijay Sethupathi, Trisha's romantic drama, 96, is all about unsaid love and beautiful memories

It is a Herculean task for filmmakers and actors to surpass the benchmark the film has set

Lovestruck: Vijay Sethupathi, Trisha's romantic drama, 96, is all about unsaid love and beautiful memories

A still from the film

Last Updated: 08.49 PM, Feb 17, 2022


What is more painful than unsaid love? C Premkumar's super hit film, 96, explores this aspect in an unusual, yet beautiful manner, complemented by stunning performances from its lead actors, soul-stirring music and adequate visuals. The film begins with the song 'The Life of Ram', which offers a glimpse into the fascinating life of travel photographer Ramachandran alias Ram (Vijay Sethupathi).

We learn from the song that Ram is a loner, a nature lover and a good human being. The melody song, which has breathtaking visuals by Mahendiran Jayaraju and N Shanmuga Sundaram and music composed by Govind Vasantha, are a few of the most loved aspects of the romantic drama.


When Ram decides to meet his school friends through a reunion, little did he know that the occasion would turn out to be the most memorable day of his life. He gets to meet his first love, Janaki alias Janu (Trisha), after two decades at the reunion. Ram is as timid as a mouse when he faces Janu, akin to their school days.

His heart still beats for Janu; it is the sole reason why he is still single. Janu, who is married with a child, is unaware of it. However, she still has feelings for him. 

But what leaves Janu bewildered is Ram's confession of having pinned hopes on his love for her for more than a decade's time. Ram's revelation about regularly keeping a tab on the important incidents happening in her life for years and attending her marriage without her knowledge leaves Janu shattered.

She regrets missing a gem of a person like Ram and curses her ill-fate. She also feels bad for Ram as it is his eternal love for her which made him lead a loner's life all these years. 

Trisha and Vijay Sethupathi
Trisha and Vijay Sethupathi

What makes 96 an epic love story is the realistic and adorable character development of Ram and Janu. Ram, who lives in the present, knows that there is no room for another girl in his life. The memories of the unexpected meeting and conversation he had with Janu at the reunion is enough for him to live happily for many decades.  

He knows that Janu is a wife and a mother today, who lives happily in Singapore, though she still misses Ram sometimes. On the other hand, the meeting with Ram is likely to have left a haunting memory for Janu. 

The fact that she was a little careless when Ram tried to reach her years ago during their college days is something that is likely to give her sleepless nights in the future. But as they say, fate had other plans for them. Vijay Sethupathi, as the reserved and chivalrous 30-something photographer who has come to terms with the life he lives, came up with one of the remarkable performances in his career.

Trisha, on the other hand, portrayed the affectionate and lovable Janu in the most sincere way that it's hard to imagine another actress in her shoes. Who thought the actress will be immensely lucky to portray a charming character which would make movie lovers almost forget her ever popular role of Jessie from another romantic drama Vinnaithandi Varuvaya?  

The love story of Ram and Janu is easily one of the best romantic tales Tamil cinema has ever witnessed. 96 has also set a benchmark in the ever favourite genre, which is difficult for upcoming filmmakers and actors to surpass. 

The Tamil version of 96 is streaming on MX Player and its Telugu version is available on aha.