Director: Arun Prabhu Purushothaman
Cast: Aditi Balan, Lakshmi Goplaswamy, Anjali Varadhan, Kavitha Bharathy
Producers Prakash and Prabhu of Dream Warrior Pictures who have the knack of choosing great scripts and young talents are at it again bankrolling an extraordinary film Aruvi. Helmed by debutant Arun Prabhu Purushothaman and a super confident newcomer Aditi Balan essaying the titular character, Aruvi is an exemplary work from the former that has already garnered critical acclaim and a few awards at the international film fest circuits.
The film begins on a stormy night with an interrogation of a terrorist Aruvi (Aditi Balan) by a cop Shakeel Wahab (Mohammad Ali Baig) from the anti-terrorism wing. And everyone associated with Aruvi are grilled and they reveal the various facets of her and the story goes back and forth. Aruvi is a metaphor here on how our pure protagonist gets unhinged and polluted as she flows across different places.
Aruvi has a loving family comprising of her doting dad, mom and kid brother living in a small town. The family shifts to the city and Aruvi grows up as a charming innocent girl. All goes well until one day, she meets with an accident and things turn topsy-turvy. Suddenly, her father starts hating her and the family throws her out of the house. The homeless Aruvi befriends a kindhearted transgender Emily (Anjali Varadhan). Although Aruvi wants to be normal in society, the community wouldn’t allow it. Three men misuse her loneliness to their favour and when she retaliates by exposing their true colours, she resolves to open up at a TV reality show Solvedhellam Sathyam hosted by actress Shoba Parthasarathy (Lakshmi Gopalswamy). Things now take an unexpected turn with the rest of the tale narrated in a riveting manner.
Arun undoubtedly has chosen Aditi Balan after auditioning more than 500 girls to portray Aruvi - a complex character and a face that should bring out a gamut of emotions. She owns the film with her winsome performance. Transgender Anjali Varadhan is yet another revelation, so is also Lakshmi Gopalaswamy. The rest such as Kavitha Bharathy as the reality show director, Pradeep Antony as the assistant director, Shwetha Shekar as Aruvi’s friend, the boy who serves tea, and the dad too chip in with notable performances.
The studio portions are a bit stretched. Nevertheless they provide the comic quotient on an otherwise serious story. At the same time, the director also reveals the ugly face of reality shows and what they do to increase the TRPs. Arun has handled the subject with lot of sensitivity and conviction. His grip over the medium is evident as there’s never a dull moment in the entire proceedings.
Technically, he is aided by the superb cinematography of Shelley Calist and fabulous music by Bindu Malini and Vedhant Bharadwaj. Editing by Raymond Derrick Crasta is equally good.
Aruvi is a must watch movie. Go and explore the pleasure of drenching in this waterfall – you will never feel like coming out of it!