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ARAMM (Tamil/2017) - An outstanding example of how real life inspired, hard hitting cinema can be made with focused conviction giving a strong social message. (Review by Bobby Sing)

30 May, 2018 | Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi) / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / A / Movie Reviews / 2017 Releases

A nation should ideally be called developed as per its abilities to deal with a crisis and the way it is capable of responding to sudden life threatening happenings requiring immediate action. Studying from that angle, we still stand far behind the developed nations and ARAMM (meaning Good Deed) brutally reveals the truth with its hard hitting real life inspired drama raising many pertinent questions. 

The extreme dualism in our governance comparing the metros and remote rural areas is loud and clear in the film wherein the whole state machinery becomes helpless with no alternative means to save the life of a 4 years old girl, who has accidentally fallen into a barely 2 feet wide and 90 feet deep open borewell in a far-off village, struggling with the acute shortage of water.

The local councilor is (as always) more interested in saving his people doing the obvious politics but the region’s young collector, a tough, strong-willed woman is not the one who will let the kid die waiting for the incapable rescue operations. The film is about the struggle between the courageous collector, the local politicians, policemen, firemen, doctors, the state authorities and the innocent people who have lost the trust in their leaders/officials/authorities, willing to rescue the child using their own frightening method.
Beginning with the mention of a grand rocket launch scheduled in the same region, ARAMM presents a great satire, where a rocket is being sent into the space at one end and a child is waiting to be rescued from more than 10 hours, standing 90 feet deep in a borewell on the other. 
Quickly coming to the point and then remaining focused on its core subject without taking any cinematic liberties or adding unnecessary commercial insertions, ARAMM keeps progressing at a brisk pace and starts impressing in the initial moments itself, heading towards a completely engrossing second half. The highly natural performances by the entire cast beautifully support the complex social drama and Nayanthara playing the lady IAS officer certainly deserves a big hearty applause for her exceptional act. The film doesn’t focus on her alone (remaining truthful to its serious subject), but she still brilliantly brings in the required tension, anguish, anger, empathy and helplessness on the screen fighting with the critically grave situation. Featuring a career best performance from the actress (wearing the same costume for almost the entire film), ARAMM would surely be one of the most satisfying films of her career, proving the right choice. 
With no deviation of any kind in its 120 minutes of duration, the film puts up an exemplary show in its technical departments too including a praiseworthy cinematography, apt background score, soothing music and crisp editing resulting in an emotionally powerful, social-political thriller revealing the ground reality. Particularly watch out for the visuals depiction the water-issue in the village and the people struggling for it.
Getting inspiration from a real life incident (there have been several such instances reported since last decade), writer-director Gopi Nainar executes his film as a gripping thriller making a sharp comment over the system and the huge contrast in the living standards of our citizens even in the second decade of the technically advanced new millennium. Through ARAMM he once again makes us realize the open exploitation and injustice practiced with the lower castes and people living in the remote regions, who only get remembered during the elections and then forgotten for the next five years by the local politicians.
Moreover, subtle references in a few scenes and dialogues make you seriously praise the intelligent, responsible filmmaking by the talented team. For instance, in one of its initial scenes we see the young boy watching swimming competition clips in the mobile phone, overhearing his father talking about his exceptional swimming skills with a heavy heart. In another scene, the quest for water gets strongly conveyed when the villager refuses to take the cold drink from the polio-drops van and asks for water, since cold drink will in turn increase his thirst instead of satisfying it. Besides the local politician’s rude attitude towards the issue cleverly points towards the corporates taking over the ground-water, which actually remains one of the key reasons of the water-problem arising in some areas in an avoidable, unnatural way.
Having said that, the film has one major issue in its repeated sequences of a TV debate where a few experts are discussing the incident sharing their own viewpoints. Though the participants are all taking sense, still these particular sequences (coming at intervals) honestly look like a big mismatch with an otherwise outstanding film and should have been dealt differently or completely avoided.
As a socially relevant, inspirational film ARAMM also brings back the woman-centric cinema in South film industry which was once the forte of their legendary directors, later inspiring many famous Hindi films too in the Golden era.

In fact, it can easily be rated as the Top-10 women-oriented films of the recent two decades post 2000.
In filmmaking terms, it’s a terrific example of how real life inspired, powerful cinema can be made with an honest, focused conviction, giving a strong social message. On the other hand, it also timely motivates as well as warns about the ‘soon to be here’ water crisis too that is already knocking at our doors reminding us about the scary future. 
Summing it all, ARAMM isn’t just a well-made, thrilling social-political drama made on a relevant issue. It’s a significant visual document that essentially needs to be seen and appreciated at the earliest, with no provision of second thoughts to be straight.
Ratings : 4 / 5

(Note: The film can now be seen on SUNNXT movie portal/app with English subtitles at a nominal subscription for an year) 

Tags : ARAMM (Tamil) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Indian Regional Language Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Tamil Movies Reviews, Indian Regional Language Gems other than Hindi.
30 May 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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