Director: Thiagarajan Kumararaja
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze…”
A cloud moves with the wind over picturesque locations and ends up seeing a lot of daffodils. But as we all know Daffodils is not just that. It is the experience of seeing/reading about the natural beauty which fills our heart. That being a poem, Aaranya Kandam is nothing short of a cinematic Daffodil to me. The movie sweeps the screen of any frill that is attached to our usual cinema and concentrates completely to let us experience the vision of the director. That is why a scene when a principal character jumps out of a police jeep, you get the high of watching a quality film – not because of the twist in the tale but because of the way the scene was handled (& pictured as well).
When we say arty film, people might think the film would have multi-layered screenplay which you can decipher only by being in the clique of the directors’. But here you get to see shots that play out before you – easy as cake. Yet the strokes – the vibrant colourful strokes, that the director makes with his characters, keeps us entertained till the very last minute. What is more striking is that, the director didn’t go for over the top or classy subtle touches to show his vision. Instead he casually lets his characters behave in their natural way, while he entwines them to a common thread. How many times have we stood on a street looking at different people going on about doing their chores, till we are distracted by the purpose of our visit? The success of the movie lies in the fact that, we the audience are back to doing what we enjoy the most; observing people, though we don’t get Yuvan’s marvellous tracks as bgm in real life.
All said, the movie does have the slow-motion camera works, or high octave music overtures played as the backdrop for this crime-entertainer. But the tongue-in check approach to these gangster movie usuals (new masala for making films) sustains the novelty. On that note, the movie can easily be accused of heavy inspiration from its Hollywood counterparts. Sure the idea is borrowed and so is a lot of taking styles, but the film being all about the behavioural science stands on its own.