User Rating: [Total: 3 Average: 4/5]
Directed By: Arun Prabu Purushothaman
Cast: Aditi Balan, Anjali Varadhan, Momammad Ali Baig, Shwetha Shekar, Thirunavukkarasu
Aruvi is like a magic trick. Initially a lot of things are happening randomly which are confusing. Then suddenly it gives you the prestige and you are stuck with a wave of emotions and go “what the f***!”. You realize then that the director has taken revenge on you- for judging Aruvi (movie and the character) too early. From then onthe movie is an emotional tear jerker.
It begins with the interrogation of Aruvi (Aditi Balan) and people connected to her by an Anti Terrorism Cop Baig. Baig interrogates Aruvi’s dad (Thirunavukkarasu) first, then her best friend Jessy (Shwetha Shekar) and finally a transgender called Emily (Anjali Varadhan). Through their testimony in flashbacks, Aruvi is shown growing up. Aruvi means waterfall in Tamil and her character is free flowing and pure. Her biggest pillar of strength loses faith in her thus jolting her happy and innocent life.
Shunned by her family and alone, the world tries to take advantage of her. First by friend’s father, then the friendly boss and followed by the spiritual guide. Tired of slut shaming she takes matters into her own hands and becomes a captor to take revenge. But what she does after that will move you. It will show how much she has matured which is good but in the context pains your heart. You feel hopeless and defeated watching her come to this and that when you judged her, you too became one of them.
The crux of the movie is about trust, faith and trying to be non-judgmental. And all the small elements, even the comic elements add up to the theme. The power of the movie is in the editing which takes you to the point of losing all patience as it leaves some loose ends untied. And then, ta-da in a single revelation connects everything. It also showcases transgenders sensitively and Aruvi’s friendship with Emily is natural and beautiful.
It has its flaws- Aruvi travels alone to remote places given her condition without any provision of food etc or the availability of internet over there which defies logic. Also, part of Aruvi’s monologue is over reaching and slightly off- topic. It also seems to come up out of nowhere is all over the place. But the emotion is so powerful that you just swat away these flies.
The movie is a tragic comedy where the pain accompanies humor. The storytelling is brilliant but what stands out is the performance of the actors. Aditi Balan is a star, this performance is at par with the best. I refused to believe that she is a newcomer given such matured and restrained performance. Her face carries the movie and her eyes imbue the pain. She and Anjali are the find of the movie and will go on to have great careers.
Aruvi is life at the purest, it is one of the relevant movies of the year across all the languages I have seen. Watch it and drench yourself in the waterfall of emotions.
Enjoy the Trailer: