Aayirathil Oruvan is a Tamil language movie written and directed by Selvaraghavan. Karthi, Reema Sen and Andrea play lead roles. Music has been scored by G.V.Prakashkumar.
A warning: This movie is not suitable for children and family audience. Also people sensitive to blood and gory should better avoid watching this movie. Actually this warning could have been included at the start of the movie so that people don’t start feeling uneasy while watching.
Aayirathil OruvanThe story is based on the struggle for power between two Tamil kingdoms – the Cholas and Pandyas. The Pandyas destroy the Chola kingdom, and the Cholas are forced to flee their capital, Thanjavur. But while escaping, they take along with them the idol of a Pandya god. The Cholas establish a secret settlement in some remote foreign island, with the hope that some day they will be resurrected back to the Chola kingdom by a messiah. The settlement is well protected by seven blockades, all of which one has to cross, to reach the place. The movie is based in the present day – a 1000 years after the Cholas are overthrown. A group of archeologists and armed men, led by Reema Sen go in search of the lost city of the Cholas, how they cross the blockades, and reach the place. Now, the twists are exposed – the Chola settlement is still alive in the foreign island, and Reema Sen is a descendant of the Pandyas, bearing a grudge to destroy the Cholas and bring the Pandyan idol back.
The movie is an adventure-treasure hunt kind of movie – at least it looks so in the beginning. The first half of the movie is all about the voyage, and the blockades the crew faces one after the other – all done in hollywood style. Karthi sizzles as a cocky coolie, Reema Sen gives a decent performance as the leader of the expedition and a Andrea does nothing more that just appearing in the scenes.The narration is catchy, and the background score is quite indulging. The crew escapes strange creatures, wades through cruel looking tribes, shoots down hundreds of red-colored men and crosses a quick-sand ridden desert to finally reach the lost city of the Cholas. The audience eagerly get ready for the team’s adventures in the new land. And then, the trouble starts…
The director seems to have become suddenly ambitious. He could have finished it off a hollywood-styled adventure movie with bigger dangers and barricades that comes the team’s way, all of which they successfully break to attain their goal. But instead, the director choosed to become adventurous. He keeps the lost Chola settlement alive in the remote land, and makes Reema Sen the descendant of the Pandyas, seeking to destroy the Cholas once and for all. From here, the movie becomes a torture porn, using the excuse of war, superstitions and agony. The director aspires hard to show how barbaric the Cholas are, and how crude things move about in this land, which makes the audience say, ‘Yuck!’. The script becomes slow, and all characters other than Reema Sen bear a zombie like dumbness about them, while Reema Sen becomes the like of a blood sucking vampire. The audience soon start looking at their watches, mocking at the silliness of the things happening on-screen, and how the movie that started off in a great way, was getting into the boring old rut.
Right from the start of the movie, where a voice narrates the backdrop of the story to the dialogues renders by both the female leads, the pronunciation of Tamil is grossly bad. The difference between ‘la’ and ‘zha’ in Tamil has been sadly ignored almost everywhere. Another thing that was odd about the dialogues was the so-called ancient Tamil used by the cave-dwelling barbarian Cholas. It could have been in normal Tamil itself – at least it would have reduced the zombie-ness of the characters. When a lot of logic has been compromised in the movie, I don’t see the reward in painstakingly bringing in an ancient diction of Tamil, which only alienates the characters from the audience.
‘Logic’ is something missing thoughout the movie. Cell phone works seamlessly in a place which has never been explored by humans. The army from India is able to get to a foreign land and kill hundreds of people there, without any issues or implications. If the army could be air-dropped in the Chola-settlement so easily, why should the crew travel over land, facing so many dangers and losing so many lives? Why do the Cholas look, act and behave like barbarian cannibals? Even though they are shown to have magical powers, how do they get cheated so easily by a girl? When all of the Chola women are raped and tortured by the army, how does Andrea escape, always standing by the side, watching all the horror?
Two good things about the movie are its stunning camera work by Ramji and wonderful music by G.V.Prakashkumar. The songs are indulging, and the background score is good too. ‘Un mela aasai thaan’ and ‘O Eesa’ are tunes that linger along. The computer graphics looks amateurish at some places, but the overall cinematography is quite good.
Reema Sen has given a splendid performance in the second half of the movie, as a vengeful and ruthless female. Karthi disappears in the second half and reappears to sum up at the end. Andrea is more conspicuous by her lack of any part to play in the second half. Parthiban is a huge let down. The most hyped character of the movie – the Chola king – behaves no more mature than the leader of a cannibal tribe. He is speechless and expressionless most of the time, except when they show his large eyes in close-up, trying to make up for the boring screenplay.
The movie is a new venture in Tamil. I have always wondered when the Tamil movies would move ahead of love, revenge and sentiments. This could be a first step, at least the first half. If the excessive gore, barbarianism and blood shed is removed, the characters are made to talk normal Tamil, and the movie is cut down by half-an-hour, the effect could have been completely different. Overall, the movie is nothing close to a must-watch!