Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Neethaane En Ponvasantham released following a great deal of hype and after the film’s music made waves. So, the question is whether NEP lives up to expectations and the answer would be yes – partly
NEP was promoted as a romantic tale with the tagline – This could be your love story and comes laced with eight tracks by maestro Ilaiyaraaja. In fact, apart from the lead actors – Jiiva and Samantha Ruth Prabhu – the music is one of the key elements of the film.
As the director promised, it is a love story handled in a novel manner. It explores four phases in the life of two individuals, who are intimate and also endure the usual pangs that a couple undergoes. Gautham, who is among the highly-rated filmmakers of Kollywood with a penchant for taking up love subjects, has got the best out of the lead pair with Santhanam playing a big part, as is often the case now. The romance between the hero and heroine with several cute moments thrown in forms the crux of NEP and whether their journey culminates in marriage keeps the audience’s interest alive till the end.
The story: Varun (Jiiva) and Nithya (Samantha) know each other from childhood and share a love-hate relationship. The hero joins college and meets his girl during the culturals. They go steady for a while only to break up over silly issues and this is something that is repeated in every phase of their life, adding to the intrigue.
Ilaiyaraaja‘s background score and the songs, especially Saindhu, Saindhu and Yennodu Vaa Vaa.. are definite highlights of the film. Gautham is known for his slick love tales, but somehow he has let things drag in NEP. Maybe a quicker pace could have perked things up. He has brought to fore the emotions that couples go through and the Jiiva-Samantha duo deliver the nuances perfectly. Cinematography by M S Prabhu and Om Prakash adds value to NEP.
This is not a Gautham special as it was widely anticipated, but it’s watchable,especially if you don’t mind the length.