Director: Sanu John Varughese.
Writers: Arun Janardanan,Rajesh Ravi, Sanu John Varughese.
Cast : Biju Menon, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Sharafudheen .
Streaming on Amazon Prime.
Aarkkariyam comes with a feeling of authenticity with some heart and decent performances from everybody. In 126 minutes, the movie chooses to zoom in on the lives of three human beings and gives us a small taste of happiness.
The movie stars Biju Menon, Sharafudheen and Parvathi Thiruvoth.These characters have much interaction on screen, the film examines more the relationships between themselves. Sharafudheen playing Roy is in a financial crisis now. Parvathi plays his wife Shirley.They need some financial help and tells this to Shirley’s father Ittiavara, who is played by Biju Menon. Ittiavara comes up with a solution and how he is going to help and rest is what the movie shows.
Apart from the slow pace initially created to develop the characters, the film doesn’t have any flaws or weak points, but two elements stand out. The first is the screenplay. It’s extremely clever and well-structured. From beginning to end, the audience gets drip-fed with little bits of information, so that the viewer can construct the story for himself. Every new bit of information creates new questions that are answered with new elements, which create new questions, etcetera. In the second half of the film, the revelations get more and more dramatic, and so does the story. The dramatic power of the film increases gradually, which is a great accomplishment, screenplay-wise. Another very strong point of the screenplay is that it tells exactly what you need to know, not more and not less, in a very economical and offhand way.
Though its relatively happy ending is probably not very reflective of most people’s reality in that situation, the film took us on an uncertain path, without leaving us in despair at the end. I don’t believe that every film has to be emotionally wrenching to make its point. This one allowed us to develop empathy and feel the pain and escape without a lump in our chests.
Writer and director Sanu John Varghese made a promising choice to follow the main three characters of the storyline that are interconnected, however, Shirley is not to hold attention and is ineffective with screen space. While necessary for the storyline these break up the flow of the movie slightly. But surely Shirley has some moments on the final part of the movie and which makes it effective. Yet the peculiarity in Sanu’s execution is that, despite the vehement behaviour, there’s a sympathetic undertone throughout.
The casting was perfect; the believable, well-developed characters and beautiful acting allow us to get thinking and appreciate what we have.Biju Menon as Ittiavara, he does just that, proving capable of hitting all the emotional notes when necessary. Sharafudheen as Roy is nice discover indeed. Parvathi is perfect. Her character is memorable. And the rest of the supporting actors’ performances are never less than utterly convincing. In the technical side Cinematographer Srinivas Reddy ,who had cranked the camera for the different angles have done a fine job. Sanjay Divecha’s background music takes the viewer to a highly effective way.
Aarkkariyam is actually a rather sad movie. It is 2 hours in length, but it feels longer. There is a good amount of emotion, but nothing ever feels too contrived, wasted or unnecessary. So I can safely recommend it.
Verdict: 5/7 Stars