WHEN DARKNESS FALLS, EVERYTHING FALLS!
Synopsis – As a blind librarian, dispirited cricketer and desolate psychiatrist each seek retribution and release, their lives overlap under eerie influences.
Director: V. Vignarajan
Director of Photography: A.M. Edwin Sakay
Music Director: Pradeep Kumar
Editor: Sathyaraj Natarajan
Arjun Das as Vinod
Vinoth Kishan as Selvam
Pooja Ramachandran as Pooja
Kumar Natarajan as Dr. Indran
Misha Ghoshal as Manasi
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Runtime: 2hr 51mins
A very good and appreciable experimental attempt to make a psychological supernatural content from a new comer writer-director V Vignarajan. I can’t even imagine watching a Tamil film without any hi-fi action sequences, without fast paced screenplay, without over the top larger than reality characters. But it has completely different treatment, a slowly developed psychological thriller that takes a drastic turn in horror territory from the middle of the film.
In Tamil “Andhaghaaram” actually means darkness, a gloomy blackness. But the film discovers darkness in several different metaphorical way showing slow psychological breakdown of lead character, as well as presenting creepy, dark tales of four interconnected stories. Film follows non-linear Tarantinesque complex approach for portraying these stories. In case of nonlinear presentation, it’s obvious wither it will impress you or it will disappoint you but happy to say I enjoyed this decision of implementing a non-chronological screenplay in this film. Film starts with several abrupt cut scenes of suicide-murder scenes of some psychologically fragile characters in black & white screen. And then it’s followed by some series of completely unrelated scenes. Introducing different characters at a time. Vinod (Arjun Das), a cricket coach suddenly starts receiving phone calls from unknowns in his new landline number. Being constantly intimidated by unknown manipulating voices, he slowly turns himself delusional, his psychological decay insists himself for leading a “living hell” like life. So that he seeks necessary help from a broadly reputed psychiatrist, Dr. Indran (Kumar Natarajan) who had been survived from a terrible gunshot attack by one of his patients in past. A Government RTO staff Pooja (Pooja Ramachandran) tries her best effort as a teacher of visually challenged blind students including Selvam (Vinoth Kisan), a librarian and also a communicator between humans and spirits.
There are 4 different characters, 4 different stories, 2 different timelines. So much scope for director V Vignarajan to create a unique content. And he really did it. Makes a film, connecting everything, solving every question those would be appear in audiences’ mind but one thing that must bother many of viewers that is it really necessary to stretch out this film’s story up to nearly 3 hours length. Some films demand slow screenplay but main problem regarding “Andhaghaaram” is it doesn’t really give us any particular reason of its very slow narrative. Let’s say it’s okay, it’s manageable to watch this film in spite having too much elaborated length. Debutant writer-Director Vignarajan more inclined in creating a horribly effective atmosphere, a “mood” for watching a horror film rather than giving some deliberate-entertaining momentum of this film. Visual storytelling, several reference shots, putting abrupt black & white corresponding suicide scenes at the beginning, some effective camera works everything, specially lighting looks really well fit with the story. Moreover, here horror portion is introduced in completely new manner unlike other Indian Horror contents without any excessive use of cheap jump scares and other horror tropes. But at the end I think while mixing horror phenomenon’s with psychological thriller, it becomes too much flimsy at certain points unlike its raw realistic treatment throughout the film. But I definitely like everyone’s performances in it. Specifically, Arjun Das, he is great. His portrayal of two-face character, having a macho-aquatic look and expressions in one hand and in other hand he also manages to show Vinod’s stress and intimidating personality perfectly. Not only just him but also Vinoth Kisan in role of Selvam also giving a very effortless performance in role of blind Selvam. But in case of Dr. Indran, Kumar Natarajan is also awesome. But felt like an even more depth to this character could have been done for a better thrill.
Throughout, the film delivers a great unique attempt in presenting a horror film but still it has major flaws some undeniable loopholes as well as a little bit disappointing conclusion. I really don’t think I like the talky conclusion of this extremely well-made film which try to describe everything throughout the discussion between Vinod and two other spirits, as much as like the other portion. Otherwise, overall, it’s
A fantastic lock-to-the-seat watch. | Streaming now on Netflix |
A Review By Vigneshwar.VG