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Tamil Movie Review: 2018 96 – A Nostalgic Love Story

96 vijay sethupathi Trisha Tamil Movie

96 is a 2018 Tamil-language romantic drama film written and directed by C. Premkumar. It stars Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha Krishnan as Ram and Jaanu, two high school sweethearts who reunite after 22 years at a reunion of their batch. The film explores the nostalgia and love that they feel for each other, despite being married to different people. Image source: IMDB

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A Tale of Lost Love and Rediscovery

The central plot in “96” revolves around the love story between two classmates, Ram played by Vijay Sethupathi, and Jaanu played by Trisha, whose lives take different paths when one of them is forced to leave school.

Ram is a travel photographer who loves to explore new places and capture beautiful moments. He returns to his hometown after a long time and visits his old school, where he is flooded with nostalgia. He meets his old friends Murali, Subha and Sathish, who have organized a reunion for their batch. They tell him that Jaanu, his former crush and classmate, is also coming from Singapore.

Ram and Jaanu were in the same class in 10th grade. They were both bright students and shared a passion for music. Jaanu was a gifted singer who could mesmerize anyone with her voice. Ram fell in love with her and expressed his feelings, which she reciprocated. They spent a lot of time together and promised to stay in touch after their board exams.

However, fate had other plans. Ram’s father faced some financial troubles and had to move to Chennai overnight. Ram had no chance to say goodbye to Jaanu or inform her about his departure. Jaanu waited for him eagerly on the first day of 11th grade, but he never showed up. She was heartbroken and tried to contact him, but in vain. She eventually finished school and moved on with her life.

In the present, Ram and Jaanu meet again at their reunion party and feel awkward at first, but soon reconnect. They talk about their lives and learn that Jaanu is married and lives in Singapore, while Ram is still single and has not moved on. They also discover a shocking truth about a misunderstanding that happened on the day Ram tried to meet Jaanu at her college.

Ram reveals that he went to Jaanu’s college with his friend Murali and sent a message to her through a student. However, Jaanu mistook him for a stalker and rejected him harshly. Ram was heartbroken and never tried to contact her again. Jaanu is devastated by this revelation and regrets not seeing him that day. She confesses that she never forgot him and wished to meet him once.

Ram tells her that he knew everything about her life and even saw her from a distance at her wedding. Jaanu is saddened by this and says that she hoped he would come for her till the last moment. They both realise that fate was cruel to them and accept their reality. Jaanu decides to spend the remaining time with Ram before she leaves for Singapore.

They visited their old school, where they reminisced about their teachers, friends, and pranks. They also confessed their feelings for each other and how they missed their chance to be together. They then went to a restaurant, where they met some of Ram’s students who were learning photography from him. The students mistook Jaanu for Ram’s wife and asked her to tell them their love story. Jaanu played along and made up a story about how Ram pursued her in college and how they got married. Ram felt awkward but also amused by her imagination.

The students left and Ram invited Jaanu to his apartment, as it was late and raining heavily. Jaanu agreed and they got soaked in the rain on the way. Ram gave her some of his clothes to change into and they continued their conversation at his place. Jaanu was surprised that Ram was still single and urged him to find someone and settle down. She also sang a song for him that he had always wanted to hear from her in school. Ram showed her a suitcase full of their old memorabilia, such as poems, flowers, and uniforms. They realized that they had to part ways soon and went back to the hotel where Jaanu was staying.

They reached the airport, where Ram escorted Jaanu to the boarding gate. They hugged each other and said goodbye, with tears in their eyes. Jaanu boarded the flight and left Chennai, while Ram returned to his home. He found Jaanu’s clothes that he had dried for her and added them to his suitcase of memories. He closed the suitcase and the screen faded to black.

Fast forward 22 years later, and they find themselves face to face once again, at a class reunion. What follows is a rollercoaster of emotions as they reminisce about their past and confront the feelings that have remained dormant for so long.

96 Vijay Sethupathi Tamil Actor

One of the most sellable actors in the South Film industry and one who had worked with all the big names in India including Shah Rukh Khan in Jawan. Vijay Sethupathi can play both the hero and villain with such ease. Image source: Vijay Sethupathi Fan FB Page

Vijay Sethupathi & Trisha’s Stellar Performance

Vijay Sethupathi, known for his versatility (proven in Thiagarajan Kumararaja’s 2019 Super Deluxe where he played the role of a transgender woman), delivers yet another outstanding performance in “96”.

His portrayal of a cool, calm, and funny character adds a layer of relatability to the “96” story. One can’t help but smile at his hesitation when he first encounters Trisha at the class reunion. Sethupathi’s ability to effortlessly bring out the complexities of his character is commendable.

The chemistry between Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha is palpable throughout “96”. Their on-screen presence brings their characters to life, making their love story all the more believable and heartfelt. Their performances beautifully capture the essence of love that transcends time, leaving the audience emotionally invested in their journey.

96 Vijay Sethupathi Trisha Tamil Movie

Probably one of the best scenes in the movie is when Ram knowing that Jaanu is coming for the reunion, hides himself and has to confront Jaanu when she comes looking for him. The hesitation and the facial expression of Vijay Sethupathi were so natural. Image source: Youtube

Supporting Actors Who Shine

While the chemistry between Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha is undoubtedly the highlight of the “96” movie, the supporting actors also deserve recognition for their contribution to the storyline. Their performances seamlessly blend with the narrative, enhancing the overall impact of the film. It’s refreshing to see a well-rounded cast that adds depth to the “96” story without overshadowing the main characters.

Aside from the seasoned actors, “96” also introduces fresh faces who make a promising debut. The actors who played the teenage Ram and Janaki, Adithya Bhaskar (who is Bhaskar’s son in his debut), and Gouri G Kishan, were brilliant in portraying the innocence, curiosity, and emotions of first love. They had a natural chemistry and charm that made me root for them throughout the movie.

The “96” movie also featured a bunch of talented seasoned actors who played Ram’s adult classmates at the class reunion. Each one of them had a distinct personality and role in the story, and they added a lot of humor, fun, and nostalgia to the movie.

Some of the memorable characters in “96” were Murali who is the main organizer of the class reunion (played by Bagavathi Perumal), Subhashini who is also Jaanu’s best friend since school days (played by Devadarshini who acted brilliantly in Marmadesam Vidaathu Karuppu TV serials), Sathish (played by Aadukalam Murugadoss), Muthu (played by Kavithalaya Krishnan) and Sumathi (played by Janagaraj who is a well-known comedian from the 1980s).

96 Aadhitya Bhaskar Tamil

Aadhitya Bhaskar who is the son of the seasoned actor, MS Bhaskar won the Best Debut Actor award with this “96” movie. Image source: Youtube

96 Incredible Background Music

One cannot talk about “96” without mentioning the incredible background music. With no fancy songs, the “96” film relies on the right notes at the right time to create the perfect ambiance. The inclusion of Illaiyaraja’s timeless melodies adds an extra layer of nostalgia to the movie, making it an auditory treat for the audience.

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The music of 96 was composed by Govind Vasantha who is well well-known violinist, who made his debut as a film composer with this “96” film. The soundtrack album consists of eight songs, six of which are sung by Chinmayi Sripaada. The songs are a blend of melody, nostalgia, and emotion, and perfectly complement the mood and theme of the film.

The most popular song from the album is Kaathalae Kaathalae, which is a soulful duet between Chinmayi and Govind. The song captures the longing and love between the protagonists and has a haunting quality of the violin, flute, and piano that stays with the listener. The song was also nominated for several awards and won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for Chinmayi.

The other must-listen track from this movie is Life of Ram which comes at the beginning of the movie to showcase Ram’s job as a travel photographer.

96 Vijay Sethupathi Trisha Tamil Movie

One of the funniest but most memorable scenes is this cafe scene where Ram encounters his students who in turn mistaken Jaanu as Ram’s wife. Jaanu then narrates a fictional but wishful scenario of how she and Ram met and got in love. Image source: Youtube

Final Say

Many who have watched this movie but who do not speak Tamil have cried in the end climax simply because the story is so simple but powerful.

When it comes to love stories, there’s something undeniably captivating about tales that span across time. Such is the case with the Tamil movie “96”, starring Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha. Set against the backdrop of school life, this film takes us on a journey of emotions, nostalgia, and rekindled love.

“96” is a heartwarming tale that takes us on a nostalgic journey of love, loss, and rediscovery. With stellar performances, captivating chemistry, and a soul-stirring soundtrack, the movie leaves a lasting impression. It serves as a reminder that some connections are simply meant to be, no matter the passage of time. Whether you’re a fan of love stories or simply looking for a movie that tugs at your heartstrings, “96” is a must-watch.

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