The Indian Kaleidoscope : Aruvi (2017) : Review

As much as the world had progressed to what it is today we still fight with age old beleifs, the pressure of society and a million other things. And this is not a problem that is rampant in just one place, country or culture. Different parts of the world seem to be facing issues of their own.

In this movie review we get to see a girl called Aruvi, who amidst a life crisis of her own fights against the very nature of the society she lives in. This film was raved about many and I ended up watching it, post it’s appearance in my college’s film festival. And it didn’t disappoint.

Theatrical release poster

Country of origin : India

Language : Tamil

Title : Aruvi (trans. River)

Directed and Written by : Arun Prabhu, Purusothaman

Starring : Aditi Balan, Anjali Varadhan, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy

Music : Bindu Malini, Vedanth Bharadwaj

Released : 15 December 2017

Duration : 130 minutes

Genre : Sociopolitical Drama

Aditi Balan as Aruvi

The film begins with Aruvi and her friend Emily, being interrogated by the police for suspected terrorist activities. We have a shot showing Aruvi’s childhood – nothing out of the ordinary – a normal middle class family, loving parents and a stable childhood.

We then see another scene where Aruvi is kicked out her home for creating shame for her household and she then starts living with Emily who is a transgender woman. The two work at a tailoring shop, from whom Aruvi asks a loan of 2 lakh rupees (around 3000 dollars) as her father has gotten a cardiac arrest. She also seems to be attending therapy sessions for stress as well.

Emily then approaches a TV show called “solvathellam sathyam” (trans. Everything said is true). This kind of program kind of a popular TV show genre in India where we have real life people talk about their real life problems and the host (above) discusses along with maybe a panel of legal representation on a probably solution. Emily approaches the producer of the show and states that Aruvi was raped by the owner of the tailor ship and the street therapy man as well and the producer agrees to air Aruvi’s story.

As the show goes on, Aruvi seemingly starts her story on the circumstances where she was raped and the host of the show reprimands them and supports Aruvi.

Eventually Aruvi reveals that she has been suffering from AIDS which she got via an open wound from a carrier, which led to her getting kicked out of her home as her parents found it shameful, and then led to all these events.

Upon hearing this the host and literally everyone turn against Aruvi with the host claiming Aruvi purposefully infected them. Appalled at how the situation is progressing the movie then shows a sequence of exciting and daring events by Aruvi where she challenges the very stereotypes our society is based on.

Powerful right? Just at the premise of the story you can understand how much this movie can really stir you up. Now although this was a film pointed towards Aruvi’s war against the society it was as much a film about that as it was about people suffering from AIDS. Amongst the countless issues and stigmatization that we gmface nowadays something that really needs to be stopped is definitely against diseases and not just any in particular. Most of the time the people who stigmatize those who fall for these diseases tend to forget that it can happen to anyone! Disease does not judge is based on appearances, or wealth or anything. And at such a time, we must never lose humanity and must help those in need against the battle towards a more healthy being. Participate in programmes that spread awareness, ensure to correct those who have wrong notions and we may be able to bring things under control sooner than we think!

Another challenging aspect this movie took on was the societal norms and stereotypes. Now this is a really broad topic. From being a girl, to bringing “shame” onto the society to several things the film really goes through the entire thing through the point of view of our lead character, Aruvi.

The movie was shot seamlessly and I didn’t feel any hiccups or confusion as the story progressed. What I felt the most was the tension that gripped me as Aruvi really takes the situation into her hands. It just shows the magnitude of these stereotypes if she had to resort such radical measures to actually just have people – LISTEN to her at the very least.

The perforamnces by the actors especially the lead Aditi was wonderful. She was not a woman who suddenly became a person as strong as an avenger but within her condition, what with her illness, and her condition and the mental pressure she was in, Aditi executed it flawlessly. A true actor relays the emotions not just in dialogues bad facial expressions but in body language too and that’s what I felt she really ticked on the list with this movie!

And I’m glad the movie stuck to reality as well with the end, even though it could have stopped at her most heroic moments. A person fighting against all odds sound and looks exciting but one person alone cannot change the whole world, and that too is what I think relayed from this movie to my mind, as I watched it.

Overall, the would recommend it? Definitely.

The time has really far exceeded for us to change these notions and behaviours and what better art form to express and go through this than an excellent movie on the same?

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