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Aramm  ( U ) (2017)  (Tamil)
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Aramm Review

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The movie is armored with heavy raw emotions laced with political commentary, that it explores the contrasting discourses of (under)development through the lens of political bureaucracy. Worth a watch!
2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good) Aramm NOWRUNNING REVIEW | Baranidharan Sivasankaran
Rating: Crictiq: 2.5 - Read Review  2.5/5
Nowrunning Critics: 2.5/5 | Users: 3/5
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Director Gopi Nainar gathered enough controversy a few years back during the release of Vijay's 'Kathi', claiming the script of the movie was largely "inspired" from his own. Now, finally, he gets to direct his own script that explores a lot of social agonies faced by the marginalized who inhabit a rural town that borders Sriharikota, the epitome of India's scientific brilliance. And, certainly, it doesn't reflect 'Kathi' this time!

The movie has a central plot as that of a kid who gets trapped in a deep dry borewell that was left open and unattended and the consequent gritty rescue process. Mathivathani (Nayanthara) is a righteous IAS officer who anchors the entire episode with right doses of emotion and some run-of-the-mill mass moments like taking on the wicked MLA, minister and counsellor single-handedly without bothering about the consequences.

The movie reflects on India's largely neglected social issues including water scarcity. Also, it pins down on a central issue that is sort of a novel attempt. From a plot perspective, as a thriller, we've seen planes getting hijacked and ultimately people getting saved with some superhuman action. But this one takes the raw side of the action, that is more grounded and natural. The struggles and travails of the marginalized labourers who celebrate a satellite (rocket) launch without actually knowing its significance. And these are people who are seen as the mass vote bank by the political class.

The writing was decent with some sharp and point blank dialogues targeting the ruling class. But as a film, it had far too many rough edges that were left unattended in the haste of narrating the larger issues at hand. Editing was amateurish as the intercuts swung between Nayanthara's enquiry process and the reason behind it as a backstory.

At the start of the movie, the generic primer on the ethos and the miserable situation of the people who inhabit the piece of land were well established with some natural scenes. Om Prakash's cinematography captured the arid and dry lands with wide angles that quadrupled the magnitude of the pain underwent by the people of the land.

Periodically, the plot moves literally into News 18's studio wherein real-time activists were roped in to discuss on the current issues of Government's Draconian steps on scientific undertakings in the name of progress at the expense of the lives of common people and depleting natural resources. Those portions were odd and didn't gel with the proceedings. By and large, those portions might be chopped off in the coming days to give the movie a crisper feel.

Nayanthara was used merely for her screen presence and star power. Thankfully she didn't invade the screen but made her presence felt whenever needed. Also, at the end, made a surprising inference on a potential political entry - would it confine within the screen or leap beyond it, only time can tell.

Ramachandran and Sunu Lakshmi were apt for their roles. The boys from 'Kaaka Muttai' and the little girl were authentic selections as well. The others like the doctor (Vaithiyanathan), the fire station in-charge (Muthuraman) and the MLA (Vela Ramamoorthy) were the usual suspects but performed in line with the expectations.

The movie certainly hits the bull's eye in addressing the neglect that we the people of India are subjected to, time and again at the hands of those who have been elected by us. It does give a solution at the end that has to be inferred by reading between lines.

But as a movie, though with its meagre 120-minute duration, it was pretty lethargic in its proceedings and lacked the sort of a rapid pace that is so characteristic of such movies. That said, director, Gopi Nainar has a knack for political commenting which he has to blend with a better filmmaking craft in his future projects for a more mainstream appeal.
Critic: Baranidharan Sivasankaran
 2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good) 2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)  

WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good

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