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Taking its own sweet time! -- Sarvam



A THRILLER GOES SLOW: Sarvam

Genre: Suspense Thriller

Director: Vishnu Vardhan

Cast: Aarya, Trisha, J.D. Chakravarthy, Indrajith

Storyline: Three deaths make the lives of three people hitherto unknown to each other converge at a point.

Bottomline: The recipe is perfect but the dish isn’t wholly delicious …

Ayngaran’s ‘Sarvam’ starts off with a surprise — it’s a psychological thriller with a U! The freak accident and resultant deaths which connect three sets of people unknown to one another could have been an inspiration fr om the 2003 film, ‘21 Grams,’ but the yarn Vishnu Vardhan spins with the incident as the peg is different.

Bubbly beginning

Youthfulness and fun rule the roost in the opening sequences of ‘Sarvam,’ which dwell on architect Karthik’s (Aarya) overtures and doc Sandhya’s (Trisha) exasperation. But by a quirk of fate matters change midway!

Two tales — one of love and the other of vendetta — travelling abreast is fine. The problem lies in the rigid pattern of alternating the tracks which only pull back the reins on both the romance segment and the revenge saga.

The story of vendetta includes the traumatised Eashwar (J.D. Chakravarthy) whose wife and son are thrown away to death by a speeding car, Naushad (Indrajith) the driver of the vehicle, and his young son Iman, who is now being hounded by Eashwar. Eashwar wants to kill the boy to punish Naushad. Karthik enters their lives at this point. He has a strong reason to feel protective about Iman and in the process incurs the wrath of Eashwar …

Sequences which ought to bring the viewer to the edge of the seat make him sit back supinely because they lack verve and raciness. And frankly, when a man who has lost his wife and son in an accident which you have caused, is at your doorstep, the least you can do is be more sympathetic and understanding. Whether or not it’s going to change things is different. But Naushad doesn’t show remorse for the act and that irks not just Eashwar but the viewer too. At the most all that Indrajith’s face reveals is fear, and later a little helplessness. The character’s selfishness distances him from the audience. As for Chakravarthy who is stone-faced in his sorrow, it’s strange that he doesn’t for one moment pine for the wife who was also a victim in the accident! However in the superimpositions that show the mental turmoil of Eashwar, he is effective.

The slight slant towards the supernatural in the climax is rather puzzling. It looks as though Vishnu Vardhan is suddenly confused. The film imparts a couple of significant messages, no doubt, but the number of deaths and accidents you witness in the process are one too many.

‘Sarvam’ has the ingredients of a potential hit except the most essential, viz., gripping screenplay. The second half, in particular, is slow. Otherwise how do you explain the ennui you feel at the end of it all? And that despite an attractive lead pair, Aarya and Trisha, who do a decent job of their roles, an excellent cinematographer Nirav Shah whose muted lighting, splendid silhouettes and classy colour tones make even the most ordinary ambience bewitching, visually stunning DI gimmicks that wow the viewer, a novel supporting cast, Rajkannan’s spontaneous dialogue, Yuvan’s lilting melodies, foot-tapping score and a winning helmsman!

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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