The trailer of Mani Ratnam's highly anticipated Chekka Chivantha Vaanam is here and has become a sensation on YouTube in a matter of hours; garnering over 16 lakh views. The trailer promises viewers a gripping gangster family drama with explosive action sequences.
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam deals with a family of gangsters with Prakash Raj's Senapathy as the patriarch. It's a family which has unscrupulously ventured into almost every available means of earning a livelihood, be it organised crime, real-estate and the like.
Aditi Rao Hyadri as a reporter, is seen posing questions over the identity of Senapathy; whether he is a mafia don, a businessman, real estate tycoon, a political influencer or a philanthropist.
However, it appears that Senapathy's old age has got the better of him. Naturally, the question of succession arises. This is the moment when 'Roza' actor Arvind Swamy's Varadan enters the frame, clad in a black shirt and sporting a close-cropped haircut, medium stubble and a devil-may-care attitude. He is seen chasing and shooting criminals across densely populated chawls, having an affair with the reporter and the like.
If one goes by the classic example of crime families, fictional or otherwise, then, of course, there will be more than just one Michel Corleone to Prakash Raj's Vito Corleone-inspired mafia boss.
The Sonny and Fredo Corleone, in this case, appear to be younger brothers Thyagu and Ethi. Varadan says, "My brothers are educated. They won't do anything untoward," There wouldn't be a gangster movie if they didn't. A taste of their murderous and psychopathic tendencies can be sampled from the trailer itself.
Then there has to be the outsider; an underdog who wants the throne of the mafia boss. That quota is fulfilled by the character of Rasool; a corrupt and disgraced police officer who secretly harbours the ambition to clinch Senapathy's throne for himself and joins Varadan. Played by actor Vijay Sathupathi, Rasool's mild looks but piercing gaze separates him from the more confident or overconfident brothers of Varadan.
The fact that the Senapathy brood may be involved in an internal feud over the question of rightful succession might just become an added advantage for Rasool.
Towards the end of the trailer, actress Jyothika's character asks Varadan whether he has finally decided on waging war. We then see a frantic disorienting collage of violence, presumably between the three brothers, who will attempt to finish each other off; to get exclusive access to Senapathy's throne. Not only do we see Varadan shooting someone with tears in his eyes, it is also telling that the last person to shoot in the trailer is Rasool.
As the mayhem subsides, Varadan can be seen posing the question, "Do you have a trusted, old friend?" accompanied by a shot of a possibly remorseful Rasool. Then Varadan tells the man off-screen, "Don't count on him." Trailers have been known to be deceptive. But it's possible that the man Varadan asks us not to trust, might be Rasool himself, or is it?
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam also stars Silambarasan, Arun Vijay, Aishwarya Rajesh and Dayana Erappa among others. It has been jointly produced by Mani Ratnam and Allirajah Subaskaran under their banners Madras Talkies and Lyca Productions. AR Rahman has composed the music while Santosh Sivan has lensed the movie. Watch the trailer below.