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Aarkkariyam Review – Movies Rediff.com

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Aarkkariyam Review – Movies Rediff.com

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Despite its rigidity, Arkkariyamthe supernatural radiance really shines in an unusual way, notes Srihari Nair.

IMAGE: Bijuu Menon and Sharafudhin in Arkkariyam.

For those who can’t stomach spoilers, I’ll start big.

Halfway to San John Varugese Arkkariyamthe house where most of the story takes place, where the characters spend their time loitering, praying, cooking, licking their wounds, where they try to feel each other’s pulse and where they try not to step on each other’s toes, this house turns out to be a morgue.

This is a sensational discovery, but don’t expect it to be highlighted with lightning speed or to be followed by a general revival of business.

The person who makes the revelation does not think, the person who receives the revelation does not show indignation.

IMAGE: Parvati Tiruvotu and Biju Menon in Arkkariyam.

Sanu Varugese’s film about the psychological consequences of murder, expressed not in the form of a grandiose operatic piece, but in the form of a chant.

Just as the aforementioned incident is played out, so is the rest of the film, and its background score, which floats by without warning, dissipates in the air and resounds harshly at many points. And all this, as you know, is conceived.

Many scenes may seem “smaller” to you than they should be. However, this relentless containment, this composure becomes the style of the film.

You can’t say with absolute certainty whether the performances are brilliant or generally good, but you can tell why you might feel so indecisive.

Varugese wants to create something mythopoetic, but without using any of the popular conventions of mythmaking.

Arkkariyamor at least most of it, is told from Roy’s point of view, and Sharafudhin has to do something very clever with his role: he has to give an almost immobile performance, as a guy wallowing in self-doubt and on whom the burden falls.

Lockdown time has come and Roy and his wife Shirley (Parvati) move from Mumbai to Shirley’s ancestral home in Kerala, where her old man, with eyes that don’t miss anything and who wants his gray hair to be constantly acknowledged, is waiting for the couple. .

The house is located in the highlands of Kerala and I see how this setting (with its pomp providing the perfect mask for all that is terrible) is becoming a staple of Malayalam cinema.

Arkkariyam about what happens when strange things begin to happen to an ordinary, even somewhat boring guy in such a sleepy town.

Roy is Geoffrey Beaumont from Blue velvetand still not really (what he doesn’t have is Beaumont’s taste for perversion).

Ginger in Arkkariyam is that this average nosy guy, who could easily pass for a trendy math professor, is facing darker truths than he can imagine (the last shot in the movie makes him look like he’s heading into a dire future).

The unseen protagonist of the film looks at Roy with a wry smile: God.

The title, although it does not explicitly mention Him, translates to “Only God knows” and is a phrase that the Malayalis often toss around with a casual shrug to emphasize what is happening beyond human comprehension.

Here it is used to ridicule this fundamental fallacy of our nature, which allows us to classify all our mistakes as “the work of God.”

As I said, this is not a film endowed with a performance that, as such, lends itself to qualitative analysis.

And yet, in many ways, this is a film that brings to the surface the infrequently advertised strengths and weaknesses of its actors.

Biju Menon is one of our main artists, and it would take a great artist to portray the old man, Ittyaweer, as a man whose irritation testifies to a life now filled with serious memory gaps.

Parvati’s performance as Shirley once again proves that she manifests herself, first of all, as a force that opposes society and its conservative views.

In a film that generally requires the actress to “behave convincingly,” she feels most alive in the scene where Shirley has to convey the pain of her relatives’ patronizing gaze.

Those who have watched Sharafudhin before (and paid attention to how crazy he can be) would be right to see the actor’s performance here as evidence of his range.

This is a character whose bright emotions do not differ much from each other, and it is such characters that test your generosity as a performer.

There is an amazing scene in the film (probably the best) in which Roy swallows portions of low-quality arrak and his co-actor Pramod Velianad is in complete command of the environment, and Sharafudin has the good sense to control himself. back and let Pramod flower.

Unfortunately for the film, what gets lost in all this pent up-belonging it feels like his characters have shared a real story together.

We are unlikely to see any one-off reactions. And the people who speak their lines don’t give you the impression that they know each other well enough to make their statements evaporate to the point of being unintelligible if necessary. Every word, every punctuation is reproduced flawlessly – and it hurts the ears.

When Roy is getting ready dosaAs for Shirley, the whole action seems as organic as Leopold Bloom bringing Molly breakfast.

But then they start throwing small things at each other, and the naturalness wears off before the next batch of dough can be poured.

The dialogue is too polished, lacking the frustration and slight annoyance that comes with talking to someone you know well.

Also, switching between languages ​​(Malayalam, English, Hindi) sounds forced, and the only person who has mastered the transitions is Saiju Kurup, who swears in one way when discussing the details of a business transaction and another when conveying love.

This is cinematographer Sanu Varugese’s first film as a director and he says a lot about him, some of which point to a strong sense of individuality; others, to an artistry that is not yet fully formed.

Like his dialogue, the blocking details that Varugese handles don’t fade too much. And they suggest a frail and rather narrow vision of the world.

But on the other hand, there is also a stubbornness in Varugese’s vision, which is often a sign that you can develop in a certain way as a director.

I think Varugese’s sensibility is based on his longing for the Kerala he was born in and the one he later left by moving his base to Mumbai for good.

He couldn’t get out of Kerala fast enough. And now he has acquired the eyes of one who sees the land of his birth as an exotic place, a place that hides a million mystical stories in its daily details.

Despite its rigidity, Arkkariyamthe supernatural glow really shines unusually.

There is something particularly personal about the way Varughese paints religious scenes.

Looking at these scenes, I got the feeling that the rituals he had witnessed as a child were accumulating in him like excerpts from black theater.

When the old Ittyavira prays for the atonement of his sins, he expresses both the asceticism of super-piety and the cynicism of the one who has reached the end of piety – this is the Pope and he is also E. K. Nayanar.

Rediff Rating:

Presentation: Rajesh Alva/rediff.com

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