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Aaranya Kaandam

Movie:
Aaranya Kaandam
Director:
Thiagarajan Kumararaja
Cast:
Jackie Shroff, Ravi Krishna Sampath Raj, Yasmin Ponnappa, Somasundaram
Music:
Yuvan Shankar Raja
Producer:
Capital Film Works
Avg user rating:
First thing first-Aaranya Kandam is something different in style and presentation. Debutant director Thiagarajan Kumararaja with the backing of his producer SP Charan has come out with Tamil cinema’s first neo-noir film.

AK as film in its making and treatment is styled very similar to internationally known directors in this genre like Tarantino and Inarritu. Thiagarajan Kumararaja in his debut film shows he is influenced in the making by films like Traffic and Pulp Fiction where different stories and characters merge in the climax.

But be warned- It the most violent and bloody film ever to get through Chennai regional censors. The visual violence at times is stomach churning, and the film moves at a leisurely pace. The language used in the film and the way the characters talk, use swear words are said to be represent the lingo spoken in North Madras. It is obvious that the director is targeting the international award circuit folks with this art house work and not the Tamil Nadu audiences.

The story like previous Tamil movies on gangland wars is set in North Madras areas in some never seen before ghettos and bad lands. The cameraman PS Vinod has used highly stylised angles and colour filters along with gimmicky editing and Yuvan’s background score, in which he has used common sounds you hear in eerie silence as an expression to create tension.

The story is about an ageing North Madras don Singaperumal (Jackie Shroff), who is shadow of his former self. His henchman Pasupathi (Sampath) wants to take over his empire, as the old man is trying to improve his waning libido for his 20 year old kidnapped mistress Subbu (Yasmin Ponappa). There is Chappa (Ravi Krishna) an innocent dim wit who is lured by Subbu in her attempt to escape.

Meanwhile a ‘white powder’ (cocaine) deal plotted by Pasupathy goes bad and he is on the run chased by Singaperumal and even more powerful Gajendran (Rambo Rajkumar) gang. An alcoholic Kalyan (Somasundaram) and his smart son Kodukapuli (Master Vasanth) arrive to compete in a rooster-fight organised by the gangs and ends up with the cocaine!

This is the background milieu of the film set in an urban jungle where only the animal within the mighty and cunning can survive. The climax is where all characters come together in a blood and gore ending.

The best performance in the film comes from Sampath as the ‘Adiyal’ of the big don played by Jackie who just smirks throughout the film. Master Vasanth is real life like as Kodukapuli and brings some of the better moments in the film. Ravi Krishna as the idiot is able to get the audience sympathy, while Yasmin is fantastic in her debut role. She brings out the innocence and the cunning cruelty of the character very well.

The film nearly two and a half hours long moves at snail pace, a lot of scenes are repeated. What was the need for a lengthy bloody rooster fight scene (no patch on Aadukalam rooster fight scenes)? Every characters existence and plight is told in detail.

At the same time, the film is different and something that has not been attempted earlier, though a bit gruesome. The dark humour in the script especially the “Rajinikanth-Kamal Haasan difference” makes you laugh. It moves like a thriller with an underlining moral code. Kumaraja deserves a pat for taking the road less travelled, though it is full of blood and gore.

Verdict: Violent

 

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