Thursday, September 17, 2009

Eeram: Where horror meets thrill

Even though his commercially flavoured social movies were all time hits in box office it was since his debut production Muthalvan in 1999 that Sankar become a brand in the film industry. His film production company S Pictures has made many movies, mostly within a moderate budget, which gave importance to ‘cinema’ than ‘stars’. May it be the whacky spoof satire ‘Imsai arasan 23 pulikesi’ or emotionally captivating ‘Veyil’ or well packed nostalgia called ‘Kalloori’ or romantic agony ‘Kathal’, all S Prictures’ movies successfully blended art with commerce. The background for Eeram, the latest venture from S pictures, is different from all these previous movies. For movie lovers who believe that cinema is all about visuals, this film is a treat. But for those who are more interested in the story novelty and the sleek presentation, this film could be a disappointment. Anyways, after Vikram Kumar’s well accepted ‘Yaavarum Nalam’ (13B in Hindi), this is one movie which fairly lacks the horror movie clichés. Despite the similarities with Dark Water (first made in Japanese and then in English) and narrative distractions, Eeram is a very good effort from a debundant director.

The story
At 2:30AM security guard of one of the upper middle class apartments in Chennai finds an unexpected flow from the water outlet. It leads him to a flooded floor and the source - flat of Balakrishnan (Nanda) and Ramya (Sindhu Menon). Balakrishnan is away from home for official reasons and Ramya is found dead in the bath tub from where the water is over flown. Vasudevan (Aadhi) has been approached by his friend/colleague to ensure that it is the same Ramya with who Vasu was in love during college days. There after the narration is interwoven with the past college day romance and the present investigation. When the file was about to get closed as a suicide case, Vasu requests for a thorough investigation. Later what he faces are more deaths in the apartment. Slowly he realizes that all murders have a common factor involved – water! The visible presence of water makes him feel the invisible presence of Ramya. From here onwards Eeram handles the encounter of Vasu’s investigation with fearful logics and illogics on the existence of life after death.

In Front of the Camera
Mrigam had shown us what Aadhi can deliver, Eeram shows another side of this actor. As a lover boy and tough police office he has done justice to his character. But more than the looks and movements he doesn’t leave any mark in our mind with his acting skills. Sindhu Menon is apt as Ramya. Even though she seems to overreact in the scene where Ramya departs with Vasu, Sindhu has the charm and innocence required for Vasu’s lover girl and Balakrishnan’s wife. Moreover she looks simple and beautiful and we can feel why Vasu, after 4 years since her rejection, still feels for her.

Read the 'Eeram' review in Malayalam

Nanda has successfully delivered the emotions and intensity required for a man of multiple faces. His performance is cool, subtle and straight-forward. Saranya Mohan comes as Divya, Ramya’s sister, is perfect. Sreenath (as Vicky, Balakrishnan’s friend) and all others who have come in small roles are flawless.

Behind the Camera
Taman’s tunes to Viveka’s lyrics are blended with the scenes but doesn’t travel with us after the show. The real attraction of Eeram is the technically brilliant shots by manoj Paramahamsa and cuts by Kishor. The presence of water – the cold but warm presence of water – is made felt all through the movie. The proper usage of quality graphics adds to the impact. I really hope if debundant director Arivazhakan would have spent little more time with the paperwork and in front of the editing table. Undoubtedly the movie is 30minutes lengthier than what would have been ideal. The climax, which can be easily guessed, drags drastically. Only the shots which are artistically blended with darkness, with few moments where faces are masked with darkness, keeps us awake; otherwise the last 15-20 minutes made me yawn. Anyways, even with the lack of high-thrill moments or chilling horror sequences or nerve-racking scare sounds, movies like Eeram are commendable as this is not a horror flick where ghosts sings around in white dress or zombies
with bleeding faces wander around . Kudos to the debundant director Arivazhakan for making the movie the way he believed in, making us feel the frostiness and warmth of rain, and Sankar to support the creative imagination.

+ Narration style in the first half
+ Technical wing: adequate usage of VFX, cinematography which senses the story pulse, accurate editing

- Predictable narration
- Long drawn out climax

'ഈറം' മലയാളം റിവ്യൂ ഇവിടെ വായിക്കാം

Labels: Eeram, ഈറം, സിനിമാനിരൂപണം, സിനിമ, Movie Review, Tamil Movie, Cinema, Drishyan