I was glad this didn’t turn out to be another Thanneer Thanner or Kathi (apologies for mentioning both these films in the same sentence). I understand that movies are a mass medium and having political commentary and criticizing the people in power are important but the problem with cinema is that something is considered a cliche so soon. It’s the writers’ responsibility to put forth their message in as non-cliched manner as possible so that the target audience both get the message and are also able to enjoy the film. Very few films get this balance right. And Aram isn’t one of them.
I don’t get the necessity of having a holier than thou protagonist in every “message oriented” film. But I’m glad they didn’t take it to Aamir’s level. Nayanthara, the district collector who is trying to help the people, doesn’t come down of her moral high horse even for a second. The film is about she trying to rescue a child who fell down a bore-well in a village. In this process she meets a lot of black and grey characters. The self-righteous dialogues with the completely evil ones make sense but when she uses the same tone with the others, it kind of gets annoying. But I have to appreciate the way she has carried herself throughout. It was refreshing to see her in a role like this.
The movie was intense nevertheless. It had me at the edge of the seat for a major portion. But I felt that it would have been better if they hadn’t used the same kind of intensity for relatively smaller problems earlier in the film. Revealing if a kid is alive or not inside the bore-well had a similar buildup and background score for a guy regretting not being able to pursue playing Kabadi in his life. Adding up too much emotions to normal scenes in the beginning of the film took away some of my emotions in the later part. I had the same feeling when I watched Saattai for the first time. That also had similar problems, overdoing emotions for relatively normal situations in the film, self-righteous protagonist and an misplaced background score but Aram did it much better with a better team but still could have used a better screenwriter.
I loved how the film had a sensible argument for the issues put forth in it. Even while criticizing the need for space exploration, they explain how it could have been better instead of opposing it right away. They don’t just blame the government, but they have a constructive argument about where the officials went wrong and what could be done to rectify it. That is a healthier filmmaking in films like these, instead of downright badmouthing things. The common people of the village not trusting any of the government officials and pointing fingers at them for everything, but in parallel having a well balanced discussion about it in a talk show was a sensible move. It also showed the realism on many sides.
I get that there are corrupt and evil politicians, officials aren’t doing what they are supposed to do everywhere, the whole system is wrong and all that jazz. We have seen all these being portrayed in very many films for a long time. Most of them with bad filmmaking, but the writers using the medium to put forth their ideologies or asking the questions they want to ask, or convey a message. I get that films like these are necessary and they start a healthy discussion among the public but if they could find a balance on good filmmaking and message films, it would garner even more people to both appreciate and think about it.