VTV: A love story that never existed!
Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa  

Everyone in town is talking about Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa; about the beautiful romance, the understated Karthik and the classy Jesse. Everyone is singing ‘Hosannas’ to the movie and its music. So, I have decided to join the chorus and talk about VTV.

But, I won’t be singing in chorus with everyone i.e. I am not going to talk about how the movie made me feel romantic, about how I felt personally connected to its characters and their lives and about how it looked as if it was a very familiar sweet romance playing out on screen. I won’t be doing that because so many readers have already done a wonderful job of it. That, I believe is because of the nature of the emotion that the film handles in elaborate detail – love. And, with that I will stop singing ‘Hosanna’ and get down to what I want to say.

Did VTV trivialize love? I can already feel the brickbats come my way. I have a fairly good indication of how much the movie has been loved. But, before you react, give me a

chance to explain completely.

The reason for me to feel that VTV might have treated love a bit too casually comes from the way the Tamil version ended. Yes, many have pointed out to the poetic and agonizing nature of the ending as perhaps the best part of the movie. But, however poetic it might have been, the cold truth is that the romance never found its culmination. In simple words – ‘the love story failed’. What is so new about that, you might ask? Love failures are dime a dozen in cinema. In fact the most loved love stories happen to be the ones that never made it through to marriage. Immortal love stories like Romeo and Juliet, Indian favorites like Ek Dhuje Ke Liye, or the Jack-Rose romance in Titanic have the thread of tragedy connecting them. In essence, they were all failed love stories. We could start another debate here about what a failed love story means. Some would perhaps contradict the view that any love story that does not end in marriage is a failure. i.e. ‘marriage is not a binding condition in all love stories. A love story can still be a success without ending up in marriage!’ Now, I am not trying to breach moral ground here.

But, why did Gautham choose to go for separation instead of marriage which was a perfectly plausible ending (the Telugu version is proof). Of course, we have at many times before discussed the liking that Gautham seems to have for tragic love stories. Almost all his previous films have one. The only change is that, in previous films the tragedy was caused by something from without, in VTV the decision to separate is made by the lovers themselves and is made to appear practical.

The point, in precise terms is that, the decision taken by Jesse seems to be one of convenience, rather than one of compulsion, which is why I feel that VTV perhaps trivialized love. Moreover, even Karthik was able to come to terms with her decision in a very matter of fact way. There is a quote: ‘Ever has it been known that love knows not its depth until the hour of separation’. VTV does not seem to comply with this piece of wisdom. The separation part is made to appear too easy a decision.

I disagree with Gautham in casting such an uncertain character as Jesse in an intense love story. The character seems unworthy, in the end, of all the attention being showered upon her by Karthik. And, the entire romance is made to look misplaced and misjudged. Yes, Karthik did get inspired by his love story and went on to become a director, but that is not the reason people fall in love for. I am also not forgetting the parental side (which definitely deserves a lot of consideration) that also played a role in the final decision. But, in spite of all the factors, Jesse’s plain and easy acceptance of the love story’s fate makes one feel that her initial commitment was either half-hearted or a complete hoax.

Looking at it that way, VTV is perhaps not the best love story to have come out of Kollywood in a while. Yes, there were moments of romance that tugged at your heart. But, in the final analysis, one feels that the real feeling never existed. The love story in VTV failed because it never was there. Even if it was there, Jesse seemed to be prepared to lose it fairly simply. She seemed to believe in Lord Tennyson’s lines: ‘It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all’. But, ‘lost’ here doesn’t seem to be a conspiracy of fate; it looks like a program from a software engineer. Hence I feel; VTV trivialized love!

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