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Skip Agaram

March 05, 2007 16:49 IST

Is there a minimum number of movies that have to be made in a year?" asked an exhausted viewer as he walked out of Agaram. His plight is quite understandable because there is really no apparent reason behind films like Agaram that have been hitting the screens every now and then. The industry can surely do without them.

Agaram is a very obvious attempt at making a formulaic masala movie. However, it turns out far from satisfactory. Though director Nagaraj has claimed credit for something called the story, there wasn't much of it in the movie. A recycled plot and utterly weak dialogues leave the viewer clutching his wrists through the movie.

The movie begins with lead actor Nanda standing with three women, waiting for a late-night bus to Coimbatore. What follows is a flashback. The memories showcase the happier days of a middle class family. Thiru (Nanda) moves in to a new house in Tuticorin with his family, comprising his mother (Seetha), grandmother and sister. This close-knit family remembers Thiru's dead father who had built a dream house for them.

The family is totally unaware of a tyrant gangster, Varma. Completely and unbelievably by chance, Thiru ends up fighting Varma's brother and his gang. Our 'hero' beats them all up, thereby inviting the wrath of Varma himself. However, for his family's sake, Thiru pleads with Varma for pardon. Varma, as is expected, refuses. However, he's forced to put off Thiru's execution by five days owing to pressure from a wannabe MLA -- he doesn't want the incident affecting his chances in the election.

On the final day, when there is possibly no chance that he'd be spared, our man gets this sudden spurt of courage and strength to face his own death. And in the five days that follow, he manages to bring Varma to his knees. How he does this defies logic, and the movie conveniently tells us that it is possible, if we can figure it out ourselves.

Nanda's performance is mediocre. Seetha does a good job while the rest of the cast has failed to put up a decent show.
If you are wondering why there is no mention of the so called lead actress Hardeep in the review till now, that is because she has practically no role in the movie -- not just in terms of significance but even in terms of duration. A song apart, her role would not be more than ten minutes.

Vivek's role is a letdown too, more so because his lines aren't funny at all. A potentially positive element in the movie has been quite literally wasted.

The only saving grace in the movie is the work of cinematographer N P Vetrivel. Some shots are excellent while most of them are above average.

There has been no real attention to detail. If some effort was put in that respect, it would have added some extra feel to the story. The accent, for instance, is that of Chennai whereas the story is based in a place quite a pole apart -- Tuticorin. The director has shot at the most popular tourist spots of Pondicherry, and called it Tuticorin!

Though such issues are insignificant, what can be inferred from them is the complete lack of passion in the director's effort and the fact that the audience is being taken for granted.

Rediff rating:

Sriram Iyer