Vineeth Sreenivasan Turns 38: A Look at the Director’s Romantic Dramas

Vineeth Sreenivasan, who is celebrating his birthday today, has directed films like Malarvaadi Arts Club, Thira and Jacobinte Swargarajyam among others. However, his films in the romance genre have found many takers.

Vineeth’s romantic films are not only known for their feel-good factor, but also for making even routine drama appealing and unique.

We watch two of his romantic dramas – Thattathin Marayathu (2012) and Hridayam (2022) – which have carved a place in the hearts of many.

Thattathin Marayathu revolves around Vinod (Nivin Pauly), a guy from a modest background, and Aisha (Isha Talwar) who comes from a politically influential family. Vinod falls in love with Aisha after meeting her (literally) at a wedding. Aisha also begins to love him back, but the fact that they are from different religions puts several obstacles in their way. Aisha is tortured by her conservative uncle. It is finally when Aisha’s father, Abdul Rahman, stands up to his uncle for the rights of his daughter that she finds Vinod.

10 years later, Vineeth Sreenivasan directed Hridayam, the story of Arun Neelakandan (Pranav Mohanlal) who enrolls in a university based in Chennai. Arun finds a few good friends, fights with a few others, and also meets Darshana (Darshana Rajendran), a girl he falls in love with at first sight. However, her relationship with Darshana becomes rocky and they end up breaking up. He also befriends his classmate Selva who changes him for the better.

Cut to the second half of the film, we see Arun as a professional wedding photographer. He meets Nithya (Kalyani Priyadarshan) at one of the weddings. Arun’s marriage to Nithya ignites pent up feelings inside Darshana. However, she manages to find closure towards the end.

These two films by Vineeth Sreenivasan have captured the imagination of young people. Although the plots of these films vary widely, some commonalities remain.

Love at first sight

Love at first sight, though common in all romantic films, is made interesting by Thattathin Marayathu and Hridayam. In both films, the male protagonist falls in love at first sight. While the first has Vinod accidentally pushing Aisha down a flight of stairs in the first place, in the second Arun first sees Darshana’s feet (the camera then pans to his face, for lack of a better word, so reversed).

The two male actors also seem smitten with certain aspects of their romance. While Vinod is in love with Aisha’s ‘thattam’ (veil), Arun can be seen in love with his beloved’s loose hair.

By the sea

A marine setting is a common thread in these films by Vineeth Sreenivasan. Some of the most important scenes take place on the banks.

At Thattathin Marayathu, Vinod as a child prays for Aisha to be his wife on a sea bridge. It is, once again, on the bridge of the sea that the two meet at the end. Similarly, in Hridayam, Palavakkam Beach in Chennai plays matchmaker when Darshana confesses her love to Arun. Years later, Darshana finds the end of Arun’s relationship with Nithya in the same place.

The classic touch in the songs

The romantic aspect of the films, naturally, spills over into his songs. Thattathin Marayathu and Hridayam both boast of songs with a classical and divine touch. For example, “Namosthuthe” in Thattathin Marayathu and “Nagumo” in Hridayam. Again, these two songs play when the boy sees the girl for the first time – lending a divine aspect to love.

Friendship and family

Vineeth Sreenivasan emphasizes friendship and family in his films. The families of these two films act as healers for the protagonists. For example, Arun Neelakandan finds himself in a better place (his date with Selva) after a visit to his home.

Anthony Dhaadikaran (Aswath Lal) and Abdu (Aju Varghese) play the protagonist’s friend in Hridayam and Thattathin Marayathu respectively. While the theme of friendship is carried uniformly in Vineeth Sreenivasan’s Hridayam, in Thattathin Marayathu several friends help Vinod and Aisha get back together.