Andhaghaaram review – Slow but engaging supernatural thriller

Title: Andhaghaaram
Rating: 3/5
Reviewed By: Sai Nikhil
Cast: Vinod Kishan, Arjun Das, Kumar Natarajan, Misha Ghoshal, Pooja Ramachandran
Director: V Vignarajan
Streaming on: Netflix
Language: Tamil

Story: The lives of three people – Vinod (Arjun Das), a cricket coach, Selvam (Vinoth Kishan), a visually challenged library clerk and Indran, a psychiatrist are shown parallelly to us. What is the connection between them forms the rest of the story.

Performances: Vinoth Kishan has done a good job as the blind man. Kaithi fame Arjun Das is terrific in his role and makes best use of his voice to express pain and anger. Kumar Natarajan is fine. Pooja Ramachandran and Misha Ghoshal appear in important supporting roles.

Technicalities: The entire film is technically top notch. Edwin Sakay’s camerawork is brilliant. The entire film has a dark tone mostly and camerawork perfectly sets the right mood for the film from the first frame. The camerawork inside Arjun Das’s room deserves special mention. Music supports the movie and acts like a pillar throughout. Editing is clever. Sound design and artwork would have enhanced the film even more if released in theatres.

Analysis: The film has a simple plot and a clever execution. We are introduced to the three main characters in the film one after the other. This is followed by random scenes featuring each of the characters and we have no idea what is happening and where the movie is heading to and what to expect next. The movie is slow, long, dark and mysterious throughout. Despite a 171 minute runtime, the movie never becomes boring though it feels slow and long. Absolutely nothing can be decoded from the first 90 minutes of the film. The main plot points remain completely hidden away and only after 90 or 100 minutes, the knots start unfolding slowly one by one. The last 1 hour is highly engaging and gripping but the climax again feels hurried. The climax indicated the brilliance in writing and editing. The movie requires a prepared mindset from the viewer. The trailer suggested what the movie has in store. It is not a typical racy investigative thriller. It is a dark slow-burn supernatural thriller which requires patient viewing. Director Vignarajan deserves full marks on his debut for believing in his script and executing it without any compromises. Atlee deserves mention for backing this script and producing this film.

On a whole: Andhaghaaram is a great attempt in the supernatural thriller genre and is worth a watch.

Rating: 3/5

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