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ARUVI (Tamil/2017) - Unusual & complex, yet an extraordinary attempt spreading social awareness. (Review By Bobby Sing)

17 Jan, 2018 | Movie Reviews / 2017 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

In the world of cinema, very rarely we get to see a complex film that forces each and every viewer to seriously think, and think in his own personal way resulting in many diverse conclusions.
These are the films which many might not enjoy watching (due to their own reasons) and many might even find as absurd, following an illogical or unrealistic story progression just to make a point. On the other hand, many might like to call it an outstanding film and one of the best of the recent times too because of its hard-hitting theme, unconventional structure and a strong social message delivered well. 
ARUVI is exactly that kind of a complex film, introducing a unique character of a young spirited girl who goes through many devastating experiences in life (of just a couple of decades) and yet has an unexplainable calm on her face that is both divine as well as mysterious raising many unanswered questions and doubts in the viewers mind.
As a film, it keeps moving from one genre to another as a loving family drama, a realistic social satire, a thriller, a project spreading awareness and an unpredictable shocking tragedy with many sharp twists. But besides being daring and innovative, ARUVI has its weaker moments too in some stretched sequences (like the TV interview) and a strange or rather unconvincing way of presenting/forgiving three ugly characters of our society, who take undue advantage of a poor, innocent girl without any guilt or hesitation. And that is the reason why it falls short of becoming a cult classic of our modern times or a perfect masterpiece to be honest, conveying a precious thought.
Having said that, ARUVI still remains one of the most important, bold, thought provoking and well-intentioned films of the year (2017), featuring a brilliantly brave and unbelievable debut act by its lead performer Aditi Balan. The girl truly owns the film and portrays the so complex character with an amazing confidence and peace, without going over the top or making some extra efforts bringing in the usual melodrama, especially towards the tragic end.
And she performs the difficult task under the splendid direction of Arun Prabu Purushothaman, making another remarkable debut with a film that many wouldn’t dare to go for as their first attempt. Arun’s mastery over his craft can also be seen in the writing and the superb supporting acts of Anjali Varathan playing a transgender, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy as the TV anchor, Kavitha Bharathy as the show director and more. The eye-catching cinematography, soothing-expressive songs and the background score further indicate towards the understanding of the medium Arun has, extracting fabulous work from his exceptionally talented team behind the screen. Personally I just loved the Baby Track – Kukkoti Kunaati (despite the language issue) for its mesmerizing picturisation and the key melody.
There are many worth praising, clap-worthy sequences/dialogues in ARUVI (including a long well-written monologue) revealing the dark side of our social structure and we the people knowingly contributing in it without any issue as such. The director also points towards 'the fake reality' behind the so called ‘reality shows’ anchored by the big names, still greedy of more fame and TRPs. But at the same time he purposefully keeps the entire feel and tone of the film extremely light, even becoming comical at times making fun of the adversities of life playing it like a game …..(Life is a GAME after all as mentioned in many holy-scriptures).
With its basic plot not being an entirely novel one, what I liked the most in ARUVI is the way the film narrates the story of the young girl facing it all with an unusual, peaceful look on her face including an occasional smile or a laugh shared with her only friend. Moreover I truly loved the visuals of a kid girl playing with her father, growing up fast (girls do seem to grow up fast) and then the entire childhood being shown in superbly edited intercuts merging it with the present, where the same girl is facing tragedies all alone without her father and loving family around due to no fault of hers.
Symbolically justifying its title ARUVI - meaning waterfall, the film beautifully portrays the same through its key character, wherein the girl goes through all the ups and downs in life, experiencing the hidden evil in the people, but yet remains so pure and innocent as a child…… just like the water that becomes even more pure and clear, falling through all the mud, rocks and other pollutants in a mountain waterfall.
Summing up, I have purposefully not revealed anything about the storyline of the film here, as that shouldn’t be disclosed maintaining its unpredictable appeal intact for the interested viewers. However would certainly like to suggest going through the various innovative posters designed with a hidden message, first before watching the film - taking your own wild guesses and then post watching the film - discovering a completely new meaning as per your individual conclusion.  
As mentioned above, one might love the film, just appreciate the effort made or may even find it quite less than the praises showered upon. But ARUVI’s tragic story and the girl’s effortless smiling face is sure going to be in the thoughts of every single viewer for a while after watching the film.
So do give it a chance as ARUVI is one of those socially relevant films that should be seen and prominently promoted and discussed at the social networks.
Rating : 3.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for its soundtrack, the amazing Aditi Balan and the thought provoking posters designed with a hidden message)
(Note: The edited form of the article was first published on UC-News Mobile App in January 2018)

Tags : ARUVI (Tamil) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Tamil Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Indian Regional Movies Gems, Must Watch Indian Regional Movies List at bobbytalkcinema.com
17 Jan 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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