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Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Arya, Shriya, Preetika, Santhanam, Anup Kumar
Direction: Manikandan
Music: Colonial Cousins, Pravin Mani
Production: Mediaone Global Entertainment

Most of the evergreen love stories have shared a strong connection with journeys. The romantic travelogues of all seasons like ‘Titanic’, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ and ‘Jab We Met’ (later remade in Tamil as ‘Kanden Kadhalai’) have been regarded as the best on this genre till the date. Manigandan’s debut directorial ‘Chikku Bhukku’
  Chikku Bukku
slightly touches this line, but takes a different route in its narrative style. Chikku Bukku is a high-fashioned flick with luxurious realms of technical aspects and boasts of some good performances by actors as well.

The tale of Chikku Bukku cuts itself into two different eras – 1985 and 2010. Set in backdrops of 1985, Sekar (Arya) is found penning his beautiful memories of love with Meenal (Preetika) in a diary. Within fraction of seconds we are shifted to present epoch of 2010 in London. Arjun (again played by Arya), a peppy DJ flying back to his hometown Karaikudi to settle down property disputes. Flamboyantly cheerful Anu (Shriya Saran) is heading back to Madurai for meeting her dad. Unexpected situations bring Arjun and Anu together as they end up traveling together in a train with wrong identity in tickets. Caught red-handed for their conniving act, they are marooned halfway in a desolate station. Here begins the idyllic travel of these young vibrant couple as we commute through different ages of love.

Manikandan is vividly influenced by his mentor late director Jeeva’s insatiable passion for rich colorful visuals and locations. You’ll experience the paradise right before your eyes with Gurudev’s spellbinding embellishment of visuals across scenic locales of London, Chikmagalore, Coorg and Karaikudi. On the dot, if there is one perfect reason to get you intact with the show, the brilliant visuals stand out as a substantial ingredient.

On the performance level, Arya looks energetic, confident and his delineation as Sekar is effective. Watch out for his dance in title song ‘Chikku Bukku’. Shriya Saran, apart from looking ravishing, strides effortlessly, emoting to what is required. Manigandan deserves appreciation for her portrayal that breaks the clichés in many aspects. Newcomer Preetika impresses with her exquisitely graceful looks. She grabs our attention through her innocuous nature, particularly with the scenes involving the school inspection. The complete drama involving Arya, Preetika and school kids tickles the funny bones. Santhanam doesn’t get much prominence and has very little scope to amuse us. Anup Kumar takes on his role with decent approach and flawless acting.

Filmmaker’s predilection towards technical arenas can be witnessed in every frame. Colonial Cousins sway to their best in every song. Specifically, the title song Chikku Bukku’ and Zara Zara stand out. Choreographers deserve special praise and so does the costume designers. Praveen Mani’s background score could have been better. V.T. Vijayan disappoints with loads of discontinuities between the shots. A smooth transition between the shots would have helped for better output.

Sluggish screenplay turns out to be one of the blatant minuses of this film. What should have been a gripping tale of romance loses its pace halfway. The conflicts aren’t established properly. The main drawback of the film is the narrative imbalance. The flashback sequences are narrated through the lead characters’ glimpses on diary. But the lack of continuity during second hour trivializes the intensity.

The term Chikku Bukku is often related with the slow-paced steam engine trains. In all likelihood, the film often becomes slow-paced and director Manikandan could have literally focalized into this attribute diminishing certain illogical traits.

Verdict: Passable journey with few breakdowns

Tags : Chikku Bhukku, Arya, Shriya, Santhanam, Colonial Cousins, Manikandan
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