Cast: Arulnithi, Aishwarya Rajesh, Aishwarya Dutta, Radha Ravi
Arivazhagan’s Aarathu Sinam had an excellent kick-off point in a story written by Jeethu Joseph -- whose Drishyam in Malayalam was a huge hit that attracted remakes in Tamil, Telugu and even Hindi. Like Drishyam, Joseph’s Prithviraj Sukumaran-starrer, Memories, translated into a Tamil edition, Aarathu Sinam, a taut thriller, whose weak point seemed to be its over-indulgence in emotion -- not quite the key word for a film in this genre.
However, some fine performances by the lead pair, Arulnithi and Aishwarya Rajesh (one remembers her as the boys’ mother in Kaaka Muttai), elevates Aarathu Sinam to a kind of cinema one does come across so often in Tamil.
Watch Arathu Sinam’s trailer here:
Here is a drunken cop, Aravind, played by Arulnithi with consummate restraint -- who turns to alcohol for solace when he loses his young wife (Rajesh) and daughter after a botched up encounter with a dreaded criminal.
Years later, Aravind is cajoled and coerced by a police commissioner (Radha Ravi) -- who understands the pain and pathos of the young cop, as he does of his brilliant skills -- to solve the case of a serial killer. He murders the husbands of four women and hangs their corpses in the way the crucified Christ is seen with his arms outstretched. Interestingly, the women share a secret that goes back to their days in an educational institute.
Arivazhagan’s script -- at times impeded by unnecessary familial squabbles -- takes us through the alleyways of a dark mind, deeply distressed by demeaning wrongs. But are they so humiliating for a man to turn into a monster?
We would never know, but it is here at this point in the plot that the film appears to totter a bit -- much like the protagonist, who for most of his screen time is drunk. Can such a cop be capable of smart deductions, which sometimes seem uncannily close to those used by Sherlock Holmes -- especially where Aravind concludes from the killer’s footprints that he must be physically disabled. But Holmes was addicted to cocaine, some would argue in defense of Aravind.
Despite these hiccups, Aarathu Sinam sails through a thrilling terrain to a wow climax.