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Andhaghaaram Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Tuesday, November 24, 2020 • Tamil ]
Andhaghaaram Review
A for Apple, Passion Studios, O2 Pictures
V. Vignarajan
Priya Atlee,Sudhan Sundaram, Jayaram, K Poorna Chandra
V.Pradeep Kumar

Andhaghaaram - The Novelty is in the details

Andhaghaaram' has been in the making for quite some time and gained prominence after Priya Atlee acquired the film and both the teaser and the trailer drummed up enough curiosity for it.  Does the film now streaming on Netflix live up to its expectations remain to be seen.

'Andhaghaaram' begins with a series of disturbing images in black and white of several people getting ready to take their own lives oddly with a smile on their faces.  We are then introduced to an orphan Selvam (Vinod Kishan) a blind librarian with a failing kidney trying to get money for organ replacement.  His teacher Pooja (Pooja Ramachandran) seems to be attracted to him.  Vinod (Arjun Das) is a friend of Pooja's younger brother who has mental disease and he too is losing his sanity due to an unknown caller tormenting him on his phone.  There is also a  psychiatrist Dr. Indran (Kumar Natarajan) who loses his voice after his own patient shoots him and is trying to get back to his practice.  How these characters with facing their own extreme troubles are in fact connected is what 'Andhaghaaram' is all about told by fusing psychological and supernatural elements in what one could say a novel attempt.

The actor who stands out in his performance is Vinod Kishan who has nailed the body language and expressions of a blind man very convincingly.  Arjun Das conveys the frustration of a man slowly losing his sanity but at times he has been made to overact for which he could not be faulted.  Pooja Ramachandran and Misha Goshal as the two love interests are adequate.  Kumar Natarajan does complete justice to the character of the unhinged psychiatrist and his character is what drives the entire film forward.  The rest of the cast have all turned in pretty good performances.

What works best in 'Andhaghaaram' is the non linear screenplay that also has many layers to it that helps keep one interested for most parts of the film.  The integrity of a physically disabled man comes out strongly and so does the bonding between the physically impaired emphasized in two different scenes.  When the blind man is betrayed by someone he considers family and the murder that happens drives home the strong message that the evils in men is in everyway on par with that of the devil.  The manner in which the different timelines collide though not very convincing  helps in connecting the dots.

On the downside the long climax exposition by the killer is a big letdown and pulls down the higher standards the film set till then in style and substance.    The slow paced narration seems to be the whim of the filmmaker and the screenplay surely did not demand it.  On the whole there is a feeling that three different stories have been force knit together and that wow factor is missing.

Technically 'Andhaghaaram' is exemplary thanks mainly to the cinematographer Edwin Sakay whose lingers on the important objects in the story and the emotions of the charcter are as good as his wides that are pregnant with tension.  The Art Director Rembon Balraj is another pillar of the film whose set decorations contribute almost ninety percent to the mood of the scene.  Sathyaraj Natarajan keeps the flow smooth but could have done something to trim the film by a good half an hour to make it crispier.  Passion Studios which has backed the project from the very beginning deserves kudos for continuing to choose projects that elevate Tamil cinema.  Priya Atlee in her first film as producer also can tip her hat for chipping in.

It is commendable that debutante director Vignarajan chose to try a novel attempt not only in the genre of the film but also in the narration.  He has abstained from spoon-feeding the audience and lets them be a part of the narration which is a sign of a good filmmaker.  In his next attempt we hope that he tries another different film but one that would connect to a majority section of the audience for him to reach greater heights.

Verdict: Go for this multilayered new age supernatural psychological thriller 

Rating: 3 / 5.0

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