Director: Sai Shekar
Cast: Siddharth, Catherine Tresa, Naren
Aruvam is a kind of horror film directed by Sai Shekar and featuring Siddharth and Catherine Tresa in major roles. Given how the genre has been squeezed tight in Tamil cinema, one would have hoped for a quirky film with some off-the-beat writing. But alas, the content really makes you wonder whether someone actually sat down and wrote all this stuff!
Jothi (Catherine Tresa) is a government schoolteacher and she’s the type of person who is extremely mindful of hurting even an insect! She’s got a disorder: she’s unable to smell anything. An incident in her childhood leads to her mother’s death and from there on, she’s very careful about the feelings of all sentient beings. The director resolves to strengthen this aspect even further; showcasing all good deeds like helping out old age people and burying a dead dog.
Meanwhile, Jagan (Siddharth) observes some of these acts of kindness and no marks for guessing the next move – yes, he falls in love with her completely. He too is given a ‘sob story’ of sorts, as he is an orphan. Then, some weird murders take place and Jagan is dead. What happens next when his ghost appears with Jothi and in the whereabouts of the murderers forms the rest.
Aruvam is a predictable and disorientated heap. The character’s backgrounds and intensions are so pure that you’re barely sold. Jothi’s disability only serves as a backstory and has no impact on the proceedings. The villains have very little presence. And Jagan too has a few dead ends in his depiction.
It is in the second half, we get some clarity as Siddharth’s (who is an upright food safety officer) story unfolds in flashback. Siddharth plays the given role admirably, but the same cannot be said with Catherine. There something off about her voice – its been dubbed in a childish tone. The idea might have looked good on paper, but it is in the execution the director errs....