96: a nostalgia for an exquisite love | Movie rating: 3/5

The Tamil film ’96’ directed by debutant director C Prem Kumar is a gripping love story that takes audiences longing for love. Like his previous films, Vijay Sethupathi surprises audiences with his versatile way of acting.

The film is an exquisite romantic film that is about a long lost love. We’ve seen many movies that tell the story of nostalgia for school days and lost romance. But compared to those movies, ’96’ is something special. In this film, the director tells the story from the perspective of two people who were in love during their school years. He takes the audience into the small world of these two people.

At first, audiences will misunderstand the film as the story of a travel photographer K Ramachandran. The song from the film which describes the life of the photographer performed by Vijay Sethupathi gives the impression that the film is going to tell an adventurous story of his life. But the movie dives into a whole different fad when Ramachandran arrives in Thanjavur with a plan to set up a reunion of his former classmates in Chennai.

This reunion of classmates was a reunion of two lovers. Ramachandran meets his classmate and long-lost love S Janaki Devi at the event. It takes the film towards a beautiful nostalgia for lovers.

Janaki from Trisha and Ramachandran from Vijay Sethupathi recall their memories of school together. The first half of the film does not give any twists to surprise the audience.

When the story enters the second half, it simply revolves around the beautiful memories of Ramachandran and Janaki.

Vijay Sethupathi as an accomplished actor captured the hearts of audiences with his role as Ramachandran. He makes a sudden transformation in his character as a 17-year-old boy at the age of 37. He beautifully portrayed the excitement and shyness of a Grade 10 student whenever Janaki touches him.

A nighttime trip by the duo makes the story more interesting with their faiths and experiences. In short, the film is a well-knit work of art without the burden of a lot of twists or unnecessary scenes.

Audiences who arrive at the theater to watch ’96’ with high expectations may feel depressed. But it is certain that those who like to rekindle memories will appreciate the film.

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