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Nitham Oru Vaanam review: A joyful film led by a charming star cast

Ra Karthik, who wrote and directed Nitham Oru Vaanam, works hard to leave a footnote about how; when it comes to love, the heart and the mind are constantly at odds.

3.5/5rating
Nitham Oru Vaanam review: A joyful film led by a charming star cast
Ashok Selvan-Shivathmika Rajashekar, Aparna Balamurali and Ritu Varma in Nitham Oru Vaanam/Twitter
  • S Subhakeerthana

Last Updated: 02.57 PM, Nov 04, 2022

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Story: The sky (Vaanam) changes its texture and colour very often, and so do our lives. Who can resist a sweet, heartwarming, and, for the most part, an original love story? That is what this week's new film Nitham Oru Vaanam is.

Review: Newbie Ra Karthik makes an effort to move away from the escapist fare to offer something refreshing. Arjun, the main character, is an avid reader, who enjoys seeing himself as a character from books. He is an irritated yet shy man with compulsive perfectionism. Despite women finding him cute, everyone takes a dim view of the things he does. On his way to Kolkata, Arjun is stranded at a bus stop. (You'll eventually understand why). He meets Shuba (Ritu Varma), a stranger, who attentively listens to him, as he shares his story with her. Over time, they get to know one another.

Nitham Oru Vanam poster featuring lead actresses/Twitter
Nitham Oru Vanam poster featuring lead actresses/Twitter

Shuba is a pack of instant sunshine. She is chirpy, non-fussy and non-judgemental. Arjun is everything that Shuba is not. He is solving a puzzle with certain pieces forever missing. The circumstances demand that both travel a long distance. Arjun initially finds Shuba's overly excited nature annoying, but quickly grows fond of her spontaneity. We have seen something similar in Yeh Jawani Hey Diwani and Jab We Met, but here, Karthik paints a bigger picture with interesting writing choices. 

There is a better way to describe Arjun's journey. He is seen carrying his bags around in the opening scenes. He was afraid of losing them, so he didn't want to keep them down. He still has his bags at the end of the movie but decides to leave them on the ground. Finally, someone who has been holding on to his painful past learns how to let go. Nitham Oru Vaanam reinstates the same philosophy. We can experience life in a richer, deeper, more meaningful way by taking the time to recognise and understand our baggage and consciously choose to let it go.

Ashok Selvan in Nitham Oru Vaanam posters
Ashok Selvan in Nitham Oru Vaanam posters

Arjun (in Nitham Oru Vaanam) is not Arjun Reddy. He is not a macho dude. He does not hit women and accuses them of triggering his mental health. He decides to discuss his problems with a doctor. He seeks help. Nitham Oru Vaanam elegantly addresses the subject of sadness, loss, and grief. Arjun exhibits both success and struggle in equal measure. That is exactly how grief functions. Never is it linear. At work, he is smart, but in his personal life, he is a complete failure. He goes through a variety of emotions. And, grief is funny. It manages to hysterically boomerang back into your system just when you think you have adjusted to it.

The screenplay makes a conscious effort to avoid cliche and pulls off several pleasant surprises in the form of some memorable scenes that stick with you long after you leave the theatre. Be it those involving Sshivada or Azhagam Perumal-Aparna Balamurali-Ashok Selvan. Up until intermission, there is never a dull moment. The simple premise is given a huge amount of life by each character, thickening it to a delightful texture. The actors give a fantastic performance without any hints of nervousness.

Certainly, the presence of rain enriches a scene, and every key moment in Nitham Oru Vaanam includes it. Good movies aim to capture the emotional and physical struggles of interpersonal connections in tandem with the rain, communicating a variety of emotions such as admiration, anger, calmness, confusion, pain, nostalgia and relief. 

Nitham Oru Vaanam is appealing despite its shortcomings as it starts on such a fresh note. The first hour charms you with incredibly likeable characters, and the inherent humour in the screenplay. You will reflect on life after seeing this movie. Even while we have no control over growing old or being sick, we do have control over how we respond to our situation. Additionally, using humour to cope with death isn't always a viable option, although, it might occasionally be the simplest method of catharsis.

The most well-rounded role of the ensemble is played by Ashok Selvan. The actor steals the show just by being there; he is attractive and clever in a natural way. He provides the sporadic and distant dreamy, mushy moments that are essential to any story of how opposites attract in love. I wish there were more of them present.

Ritu Varma, Aparna Balamurali, and Shivathmika Rajashekar, the unrestrained and passionate female leads, are the heart and spirit of the film. They not only use those witty lines to bring their characters to life but also approach their roles with a level of truthfulness that is uncommon in acting.

Aparna, in particular, owns practically every scene she’s in, adding little realistic touches to make the character her own.

The colour scheme of Nitham Oru Vaanam is vibrant; thanks to cinematographer Vidhu Ayyanna. His visuals tell stories, enhancing the artistic vision of Ra Karthik. The filmmaker writes his characters in a way that made me think of Imtiaz Ali. The characters in Nitham Oru Vaanam are well-developed (despite being set in a 'dreamy' world.) They never become one-dimensional due to their idiosyncrasies. Ayyanna's camerawork is fluid, perfectly capturing the momentum in the writing. The choice of locations and Gopi Sundar's music score are remarkable. Certain scenes were written and performed marvellously; like Sshivada's emotional outbursts and climax portions. (Be on the lookout for some unexpected cameos.)

Verdict: Nitham Oru Vaanam works as it delivers on its promise of a realistic love story. It bursts with the kind of lovely little moments that will bring a smile to your face. You feel invested in what is happening. There are several minor issues, but since this movie celebrates positivity, I conveniently chose to ignore them.

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