Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Aruvi: Her Intent's Voice

When the trailer of Raju Murugan's Joker was out, about two years back, the impact it had created was compartively very less to the actual standards and making perfection of that movie. Joker was one of the very movies, that fetched a zero-haters status after a long time (May be, except for some sand mafias and corrupt government officials). So is Aruvi, which, coincidentally, is from the same prodcution house. For me, personally, Aruvi's trailer did not impress much. I was even wondering how this movie could have fetched these many number of international acclaims. But, it all changed last evening when I was totally dumbstruck during the press premier of the movie.

This movie has a scene where the protagonist Aruvi slams the current trends, that people are paying Rs 120 to watch a movie in their routine happy life (that is actually believed to be happy), and fatefully, even such movies too do not have a content that could give them happiness. But, irony is that 'Aruvi' by debutante filmmaker Arun Prabhu Purushothaman is not a movie of that kind. It stands out holistically in terms of its plot, emotion, ideology and as well the performances of its cast. It is not so easy to write a spoiler free review for Aruvi as the crux of the movie is already out and to be more specific, the crux of the movie itself is the suspense element of Aruvi. So, I've wrote this so carefully by not spilling any bean.

For Arun Prabhu, the references he makes from a random scene in the prologue with a linking sequence in the latter part of the movie are the major breakthrough of Aruvi's script. For an instance, a minor accident sequence is shown in one of the spin-offs of Aruvi which has a pivotal connect in a later portion of the movie. Likewise, the narration of Peter's smoking scene in his imaginary script has a connect in his real life that happens apparently in the pre-climax. No more spoilers!

There are a few other metaphors hidden all through the movie, Kalathu Dosai to be more specific, that have emotions defined within themselves. The references and metaphors are those plot driving factors of Aruvi that grip the sensuality of the films from beginning till end. The second most important selling point of this film is it's semi-dark humour. Be it any kind of a scene, Aruvi has a laughter itching factor veiled in it. After watching Aruvi, one would surely engage in a laughter riot when coming across a scene from a family-counselling reality show telecast in televisions. "Yennama. Ipdi panreengalae ma!"

With a pack of 'n' number of performers, Aruvi has a very negligible space in its cast to point fingers at, with a negative note to criticise. Of all, Aditi, who plays the protagonist has made herself to be the next promising talent from Tamil cinema who is going to go places. Wait for the climax to see the complete actor in her. Loneliness gets a new illustration in form of Aditi's performance. While Pradeep who has done the role of Peter is another find. The innocence Pradeep has expressed for the role of 'an aspiring filmmaker Peter' is absolutely real. Especially the scene where he does a mock-narration of a story to the producer.

Then comes Lakshmi Gopalaswamy as the host of family-counselling reality show. The way she has maintained the body language and her face look alike simply reminded of actress Lakshmi who hosted a similar show 'Kadhaiyalla Nijam'. There are a few others in the cast like the tailoring institute owner who goes for a quick flashback of 'Paniyaara Kezhavi' and transgender Anjali Varathan, who has both sarcastic and sentimental sequences, have done commendable performances. A special mention is Mohammad Ali Baig, who has a very less screen space but a fitting role of a police officer which he has done it in style.

The metaphorical flow of Aruvi has a metaphorical cinematography by Shelley Calist who has communicated the plot by simple gestures all through the run time. From the usage of bottles for truth and dare which is later referred during a hostile sequence, Shelley has captured it all in his frame. Also, matching to the title of the movie, Shelley has captured the flowing waterfall in its own natural reality, which is matched perfectly by the sound mixing (Do watch in Dolby Atmos and 4K Projection enabled screens to experience it completely).

While, music by Bindhu Malini and Vedanth Bharadwaj has been occupied well over the background and as well the flow of the movie. The sequences where the entire screen goes off from sound is left to the audience to weep out - eyes filled with tears. Such silence played by the music composers has added more fervour to the plot. The production design of Aruvi needs a special mention to replicate a TV studio and reality show. The realistic touch of the art direction by Chitti Babu falls rightly where we could see that the rest of the areas of the TV channel office is completely untidy and dunged. From the beginning of the movie, the story of Aruvi is narrated by various characters from their perceptions. For this complicated narration, Raymond Derrick's cuts have played a mighty role by not letting any confusion to prevail. And till the interval block, the suspense is being built with much carefulness which is made more gripping by Raymond.

One could hardly notice a shortcoming in Aruvi as the movie has come out completely flawless. This is going to be the success of Aruvi, which has conveyed the right message to the society on embracing those who are refrained from the cultural system that believes in a 'fake-happy-life'. Well, whats the ideology? Go, watch it in theatres and find out.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, Dec 13, 2017

This viewer's note is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only.