“Aramm”… A textured portrait of village life turns into a shrill, message-heavy (and yet, important) drama

Posted on November 10, 2017


Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/aramm-movie-review

The line of female District Collectors in Tamil cinema isn’t a long one, and these women are usually seen in relation to their men. Janaki (Sowcar Janaki), in Iru Kodugal, became a Collector because she was rejected by her mother-in-law (and thus, lost her husband). In the 1960s, it was an either/or. You could either be a powerful woman or be in a relationship. You’d think things would have changed in the 80s, but it actually got worse in Aaniver, where Arukkani (Saritha), whose villager-husband suffered an inferiority complex, gave up her post and moved back to his village, because being his wife was more important than being the Collector. These films were battle-of-the-sexes relationship dramas, where the woman was punished, in a sense, for her ambition.

The most significant aspect of Aramm (Good Deed), written and directed by Gopi Nainar, is that Madhivadhani (Nayanthara) is defined only by her job. All we know about her is that she’s the Collector. Everything else — that she cares for people, that she has integrity, that she has a never-say-die attitude — is a function of her job. There are no parents in the picture, not even in a photograph at home — because we never see her home. The film’s locations are the places Madhivadhani needs to be in an official capacity. As for a husband or boyfriend, there’s no mention — and probably no need. Who needs a hero when the heroine can defy the corrupt MLA and walk away in slow motion?

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil