Aruvi – as the title’s translation in English goes – falls hard and flows heavy. The same goes for the protagonist, played by Aditi Balan, whose name fits her character as well as the movie perfectly. The metaphors that one can use to draw comparisons do not end just there.

From the start, we jump down the waterfall, and are turbulently taken through Aruvi’s childhood to adulthood, but Raymond Crasta’s editing makes the water clear – there is no information or impact lost on the viewer. Every character is real and portrayed realistically, and the credit is shared both by the actors as well as the way they have been directed, and thus the director Arun Prabhu Purushothaman.

Aruvi is taken through life’s motions, and it is not a happy ride. It is a roller coaster. As we ride this roller coaster, we are taken through human emotions, political satire and even an almost nihilistic view of life. But nothing seems force fitted; the story does not want to display these messages by using the film as a tool. Aruvi is much more, in that we cannot detach the situations where these occur from the movie as a whole. This includes the semi-surreal (if one can call it so) potions that should tell one not to question their logic, but rather be swayed by them.

The film is cynical, and so is dark in its comedy. But we realize that when it makes us laugh, we are actually suggested that life as we know it is just a colossal tent away from a full-blown circus. And just like life itself, things take a turn for the worse when we least expect it. The revelations are placed beautifully, never letting the audience to settle back or yawn or worse – look at their notifications. This is great success for the film, to be riveting without any stars in its cast. This is great success for Tamil cinema too.

Aditi’s Aruvi makes us laugh and cry. She is good and evil, chaotic and calm, broken yet firm, and strong and weak. The tumultuous nature of her persona is what makes Aruvi unpredictable and almost fun in a cathartic way. Aditi could not have asked for a better debut, and we might not have such a hard-hitting performance from a debutant in a long time. The direction, dialogues, and script are her biggest allies in this feat. Her close friend in the film is a lovely idea as a supportive role and completely novel in all aspects, and teaches us an important lesson by just being there.

Bindhu Malini and Vedanth Bharadwaj have explored music in the songs as well as the background score, and the former have been fitted so well that we do not realize the oddity in their placement. Great music scoring for a film is making it part of the film itself – and we can learn that from Aruvi. The cinematography by Shelley Calist is perfectly imperfect, suiting the exact tone of the film. Shabby, but isn’t that how life is?

[Review based on a special preview show to the press members on December 12. Catch the film in theatres, from December 15]

Posted by on December 16th, 2017. Filed under Movie Review Tamil, Recent Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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