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Director: Gopi Nainar
Cast: Nayanthara, Sunu Lakshmi

Rarely does a film leave you shocked, thrilled, satisfied and as a tear jerker at the same time and this week’s Nayanthara starrer Aramm does exactly that. As someone who follows the director’s talks on social issues ever since he shot to limelight after filing a case against AR Murugadoss stating that Kaththi was actually based on his story, I knew he’ll be a filmmaker to watch out for. Little did I realise that he’ll make a film with the biggest and the highest paid South Indian actress in his debut.

Aramm is a flashback to a series of events that happens in a day in the life of collector Madhivadhani. Due to the lethargic behaviour of many officials and politicians, the life of a 4-year-old gets taken for a ride. In a race against time, Madhi and her incompetent gang of officials must do whatever it takes to save her. What amazed me was the fact that nothing in the film has been tailor-made for Nayan. Anyone could’ve pulled it off and it makes me wonder why no top heroes had what it takes to do this film. Probably the social angle that questions the workings of our government?

Gopi doesn’t beat around the bush when he attacks the workings of the government and those who govern it. Whatever he wanted to shout back to them, has been voiced by Nayan’s character who mouths a line or two about democracy and people in power. Talking about the lines, dialogues are where Gopi has shown his strength. When the serious lines get a bit …. well, serious, he uses mockery. The satirical take is sure to put a smile on your face and a thought in your head, something we last saw in Joker. The subtle take on water scarcity, farmers issue and how athletes in villages are rarely given the opportunity they deserve, leaves a mark despite not diverting the film’s run. They are some of the many issues the films talks about. Plastic, disparity, lack of spotlight on scientific developments for the betterment of people, you name it, they’ve spoken about it.

As far as the performances are concerned, Nayanthara has pulled off a simple role in a convincing manner. I’m using the word simple and not easy because her character is a simpleton who appears throughout the film in just two sarees which happens to be two of the least fashionable ones ever made. But you won’t care because you’re left hoping that you knew an official who is as straightforward as she is. But she’s no hero. She cries, she makes mistakes and even fails in front of those who’re more powerful than her. That’s what makes her a simple common man like you and me and that’s where she, the director and the film as a whole, wins for me. The other characters are mostly the ones whom we recognize but can’t name. But their performances are so convincing that the film might feel like a documentary made in a village with real villagers.

If I have to nitpick on the cons, the recurring newsroom scenes sort of disrupted the flow of the film which is pretty slow anyway. The story doesn’t pick pace in the second half but just gets more intriguing, making it seem like it’s moving fast. The voiceovers at certain points make it feel like patch work done in urgency and some scenes are grainy as if they were zoomed in from a wider shot.

Overall, Aramm is a dramatic take on the plight of villagers in our country and this realisitic slice-of-their-life story will surely win hearts as well as awards.

My Rating: 4/5

Click here to read my interview with Director Gopi Nainar.
Click here to watch my video interview with Director Gopi Nainar.


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