Cinematographer Prem kumar dons the director’s hat for the first time after his accomplished works as a cinematographer before this film. This film garnered much interest, after the teaser and its songs became a huge success. Nandagopal produces this film.
The story of 96 is nothing new, but then there are hardly a few things that you don’t like in the film. Though the film starts a little lazily it is the school romance that manages to impress a lot, especially when it is complimented by Ilayaraja’s lilting songs. Yes there are cliché scenes and scenes for convenience that can be largely ignored, but there are moments too that are lyrical and very poised. The underlying tensions in the form of “could it happen” as well as the “deadline factor” add more strength to the screenplay. Credit should be given to the writer for keeping the story very simple, but at the same time it is a little underwhelming with a few questions to be answered.
What rocks 96 is the brilliant performance of the teenagers in the form of Devadharshini, Bhagavati Perumal and the rest. Honestly the “lead kids” actually outperform the seniors Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha with their subtle and more convincing expressions. VS and Trisha perform decently like what is expected out of them, but in a film like this there is a little more that is needed to make the scenes poetic and “tug at heart” worthy and that goes sorely missing in their performance. The youngsters do a more commendable job with that. The rest of the adult cast does their job admirably and it is refreshing to see yesteryear actor Janakraj back on screen.
With a cinematographer wielding the megaphone you expect nothing but strong visual appeal and Shanmuga Sundar provides it aplenty with some wonderful frames. Govind Menon’s background score is praise worthy and the songs are already a hit. Editing by Govindaraj is good while dialogues are sincere and apt. Direction by Premkumar is very mature and much is expected out of him now.
96 is a sweet and cute film and it does manage to impress and yes it could have been much more too..
‘96 – NERTHI !!!