Cast: Ajith Kumar, Arya, Nayanthara Kurian
Crew: Vishnuvardhan (Director), Om Prakash (Director of Photography), Yuvan Shankar Raja (Music Director)
Rating: U (India)
Release Dates: 31 Oct 2013 (India)
Tamil Name: ஆரம்பம்
If you watched the Arrambam trailer and dismissed it offhand as being just another flick with an anti-hero walking around looking stylish and shooting everyone in sight, you wouldn't be alone. I did just that, but I'm really glad I went ahead and watched the movie anyway.
It starts off with Ashok (Ajith), a seemingly well heeled terrorist pulls Arjun (Arya), a computer 'hacker', into his service. Having just bombed multiple buildings, he forces Arjun to do his dirty work by threatening his girlfriend. The rest of the story revolves around them, the choices and the discoveries they make - Arjun's desperate attempts to, save himself and his girlfriend, get help from the police and ultimately his discovery of the truth.
In terms of acting, everyone fit well into their characters - they were quite believable and could be empathised with. Maya (Nayanthara) was suitably kick-ass and Anita (Taapsee) was realistically whiny when she had to be.
The script itself was fairly predictable, but it felt well written because of all its enjoyable details. Dialogue was crisp and none of the characters were rambling. It also balanced out action and drama quite well.
The biggest gripes I have with the movie are technical: Arjun's 'hacking' is him mindlessly banging randomly at a keyboard while unrealistic nonsense flashes on the screen. Some of the car chases seemed badly edited - cars were suddenly flying through the air for no reason, as if they'd suddenly acquired the ability to jump and were keen to try it out. Sanjay (Rana) had enough muscles to climb a building effortlessly, but it was obvious he was being lifted with a special effects rope and trying hard to make it look real by tapping the walls once in a while as his legs dangled free. Bad guys firing bullets from and at a speedboat also seemed to be hitting exactly the same point every single time, despite at least a hundred shots being fired from all over the bay.
That said, though, most of the camera work was quite enjoyable. It felt like a well made movie. The music was also excellent (though the background score tended to be overpowering at times). The songs were fun to watch and listen to, and were nicely varied.
On the whole, it's one of the best Tamil action movies I've seen. There's some things that could have been improved, but we seem to be closing the gap with Hollywood pretty fast.
Ajith-Vishnu-yuvan comes together after the stylish Billa. Does it really meet the expectations? I would definitely say "Yes". Like the previous film, this one also has lots of stylish, glamorous portions which definitely entertains fans.
Story is not that great. Songs are pretty ok and mostly well-placed (except the introduction song). Ajith, nayan, arya were ok in what they delivered. Taapsee's overreacting irritates at times. The work of Cinematography, makeup & accessories division is evident in each and every frame.
First half is definitely nice. Second half is pretty ok. The film doesn't sag much.
Bottomline: The film is better than Billa-2 but definitely not better than Mankatha. Watch it once.