Aruvam movie cast: Catherine Tresa, Siddharth, Kabir Duhan Singh
Aruvam movie director: Sai Shekar
Aruvam movie rating: 1.5/5
Aruvam begins well. The first few scenes tell how it wants to be ambitious. But as the film progresses, it loses steam. Well, in some places, it’s a supernatural thriller. In other places, it’s a social drama. Sai Sekhar seems to be in a dilemma about the genre he’s going to present. Overall, Aruvam (formless) is a hotchpotch of everything we have seen in Tamil cinema—barring anosmia (the partial or complete loss of the sense of smell). The film also reminded me of Velaikkaran, Kanchana franchise, and a bit of Indian—because of the vigilante angle. Since Kamal Haasan has almost done everything, it’s inevitable to not touch upon the films he is a part of.
Jagan (Siddharth), a food safety officer, is smitten by Jyoti (Catherine Tresa) and asks for her hand in marriage. Because she’s kind-hearted and fights for a parrot (Sudhandhira Devi) and frees it. Jagan is impressed by Jyoti’s cuteness. (It’s not anything else; I swear). She is called ‘setha mooki’ by her co-workers in a school, where she works as a teacher. People make fun of her, naturally. When Jyoti doesn’t teach, she’s an activist. She helps children cross the roads, looks after the homeless, and so on. Jyoti thinks she’s a mini Mother Teresa. At least, that’s how Sai Sekhar wants his female protagonist to be. You get why Jagan falls for Jyoti, right? Sigh.
Though Jagan apologises to Jyoti for ‘pursuing’ her, he doesn’t stop. He wants to protect Jyoti wherever she goes. Of course, with her consent. Jagan ‘appears’ every time Jyoti is in trouble. Her saree catches fire in a temple; Jagan saves her. Do you get why Siddharth’s character is named so? He’s born to save this planet and people—quite literally.
Jyoti thinks she’s ‘abnormal’ and asks Jagan to keep himself away from her. He knows she’s dumb and says, “Devadhaigal muttalgal-nu padichurken; buddhi saaliya aakkidalaam.” (I have read angels are dumb, but they can be made intelligent).
In the first half, we don’t know who is Jagan, and that gets revealed post-intermission. Jagan is “suththathoda uchcham” (peak of purity), as his friend describes. Until then, it’s Catherine Tresa’s show all the way. How Jagan’s spirit enters Jyoti’s body (who can’t even harm an ant) and kills a bunch of men, over why; forms the plotline of Aruvam.
A poorly-written film makes Siddharth’s character mouth funny lines, including, “En saavula kooda kalapadam iruka koodadhu.” (Even my death shouldn’t be adulterated) in a serious situation. That’s why you don’t see yourself getting invested emotionally in Aruvam. In a lot of places, you are tempted to laugh at the characters, instead of empathising with them. Though Aruvam discusses corporate greed and food adulteration, it sends one ‘message’ after the other throughout.
Let’s not forget the badly-done CG work. In one of the scenes, you see Catherine Tresa cover herself with yellow ropes. Oh, that’s supposed to make her look ‘powerful’, but ends up as a mere laughter-inducing exercise. In most of the places, Catherine Tresa’s expressions are animated and annoying.
Till now, I have no idea why a fine actor like Siddharth, who did the fantastic Aval, agreed to do a role in Aruvam. (I won’t say he’s the ‘hero’.) Again, I don’t know what potential he saw in Sai Sekhar and went ahead with the shooting. Then, I told myself, “Hey, he’s done the Aranmanai franchise.” Never mind.