Mar 26, 2009

Yavarum Nalam Arundhati, but Let the Right One In

My spring break became a week of horror - only in the movies genre, albeit unplanned. Alphabetically,

Arundhati: It is a dubbed movie from telugu with the same name.

Story: Arundhati (Anushka), hailing from a royal family, is about to get married. In her village is waiting Pasupathi (Sonu Sood) who is hell-bent on disrupting her wedding. The interesting details include who Pasupathi is, what his grudge on Arundhati is due to, and what his intentions are.

Presentation: The entire movie is a surprise package. It is not just a heroine-based movie with the female protagonist's name as the title; it is a strong heroine-centered movie, in which the hero is used ala pickle. It has a powerful villain, though. Secondly, we get to see Anushka, who usually stars as a sweet, bubbly but doll-like actress in an intense, multi-faceted, and charming role. Next, the all-important flashback, which is often so important in a horror movie, is split into many parts and appears at different times, which means that the mystery is never fully unfolded.

Coming from the director whose resume includes Amman, arguably the first Indian movie with successful use of CGI in its story, the graphics in Arundhati too (by Rahul Nambiar) is superb. For once, I had the feeling that graphics had totally merged with the cinematography in an Indian film. The camera work by one Senthil Kumar is top-notch - be it showing the colorful palaces, the grandeur, or the dark forces. With minimal songs and drama, Arundhati is an edge-of-the-seat thriller/horror movie. It is a must-watch - a visual treat.

Let the Right One In: It is a swedish movie dubbed into English. A childhood friend of mine had a sweet-looking brother, who would ask everyone to lift him. When they do, he would bite their cheeks and run away. Imagine that such a sweet-looking girl, instead of biting the cheeks, bites your neck and starts sucking blood!

Story: Oskar is a quiet 12-year old boy living with his mom in an apartment. He is bullied by some of his classmates but, having no friend, he cant share it with any one. He is befriended by a girl, Eli, who has just moved to his neighboring house with her father. Soon, Oskar realizes that Eli is no ordinary girl.

Presentation: It is a very unique movie in that the source of horror doesn't wear any additional make-up at all, but still there is an element of fear everytime we look at her (similar to 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose'). The focus of the movie is not on the horror part but on the friendship between Oskar and Eli. The creepiest scene of the movie was the one involving a dozen or so cats and a woman. Apart from that, the visuals are more pleasing to the eyes than horrific. It has a chilling climax, befitting to the genre of the movie.

Yavarum Nalam: It has been reviewed quite a bit in the blogosphere; so all I have to say is, it was good, without the trademark cheap stuff the desi horror directors resort to, for scaring us. And, it was genuinely scaring too. The real hero of the movie was P.C. Sriram, whose camerawork is the one that elevates the movie with a clever storyline from a goosebump-inducing one to a real horror movie.


Anonymous said...

Nice reviews, Raju. We skipped both Yavarum Nalam & Arundhati.
- Unga palayah nanban from SI

Anonymous said...

Let the right one in - i liked the ending though it's tragic. Oscar replaces Eli's father and bring her the blood by killing others ( he becomes who he wanted to be )

Can you believe that Eli is indeed a guy? That's the reason why she says to him " I'm not a girl". It seems the crotch scene was to show that the penis was mutilated for Eli's bad behavior in the past. This is the story in the novel.

Anu said...

Im a coward when it comes to horror movies, cant sit through even the PG 13 ones :D... Though i must say yaavarum nalam and arundhati sparked my interest

Raju said...

SI, thanks... Both are worth a dekho.. Try to catch them on Netflix, if and when they arrive. :)
BTW, adhu enna 'palayah nanban'? It has been only two months since we met, right? :)
Anon, I didn't think the ending to be like what you said (replacing the father part). Knowing Eli, though, that has to be the logical explanation.
About Eli being a guy, that is a shock to me.. I thought "I'm not a girl" meant "I am not a normal girl". I thought that the crotch was unnecessary, but never thought along the version of the story that you mentioned. Ufff.. one hell of a movie indeed..
Anu, I can't call myself to be brave too... I have come out of movie theater during intermission break of 'Raaz', despite having watched over half the movie through my gap between my fingers. :)

Anonymous said...

Among all three, I enjoyed Arundhati the most. Didn't know Anushka can act so well. I don't want to see Thorah in this director's next movie.

Raju said...

Anon, yeah, Anushka was indeed a big surprise, considering her resume of telugu movies so far.. LOL on Thorah.. I wish she is deported to Telugu cine-industry for ever.. said...

Thanks so much for your post, really effective data.