Review: 96- Romance at its best

Director Premkumar’s 96 is a trip down memory lane for a travel photographer who meets his school friends in a reunion.

He happens to come across his ex-lover girl, who studied in the same class. What happens then forms the crux of the movie that oozes with romance.

A simple storyline with events happening in one night, 96 stands tall with a perfect onscreen chemistry between Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha. The movie speaks about romance in high school. With simple dialogues and realistic portrayal of events, 96 is here to stay.

Ram (Vijay Sethupathi) comes to attend the reunion of ‘96 batch . He, along with his friends, have a gala time till Janaki (Trisha) arrives.

Flashback reveals that Ram and Janaki fell for each other in their school days and shared a strong bonding.

A prolific singer, Janaki cared for Ram. All their friends know their romance. As days go by, Ram disappears from the village one day for reasons unknown. Janaki search for Ram ends in vain.

The events are narrated from both Ram and Janaki’s perspectives. It is a multi-layered screenplay with cute moments.

Cut to present, Janaki is married and has a young child when she meets Ram after 22 years. They decide to spend time together till her flight to Singapore the next day. What transpires during the night forms the crux of the story.

Three cheers to Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha. They have lived their roles. Vijay Sethupathi, with his dialogue delivery and expressive body language, adds weight to the script.

Trisha takes off from where she left in ‘Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaya’. She brings dignity to the character.

There is Devadarshini, Bagvathy Perumal chipping in with their best. Aditya Baskar and Gauri Kishan as young Ram and Janaki are the major highlight of the movie.

Govinda Vasantha’s music, Mahendran Jayaraju and Shauga Sundaram capture night life in Chennai in the most romantic way.

Amidst mass movies and cliched commercial cinema, ‘96’ is a whiff of fresh air. More of ‘Mouna Ragam’ meeting ‘Azhagi’, ‘96’ is engaging fare.

M BHARAT KUMAR