Cast- Ajith, Arya, Nayanthara, Taapsee, Rana Daggupati, Kishore, Atul Kulkarni, Mahesh Manjrekar, Suman Ranganathan
The return of the Ajith-Vishnuvardhan team with Arrambam, six years after the stupendous success of their Billa, has naturally raised high expectations. Slick and stylish like their earlier venture, the film, despite its glitches, manages to keep one entertained for the most part. Ajith’s charismatic screen presence is the mainstay of the film.
The story opens in Mumbai, where a series of bomb blasts takes place. AK (Ajith) is the man behind them. Supporting him in his cause is Maya (Nayanthara), Arjun a reluctant computer hacker (Arya), and Anitha the latter’s girl friend and the bait to lure him in. Prakash (Kishore) of the anti-terrorism squad is brought in to track the culprit. The director has managed to maintain a racy pace in the first part. The narration goes into a flashback mode to reveal the reason behind AK’s acts. It’s the unholy politician-cop nexus yet again, with a rotten apple in the media too this time. This portion could have been trimmed a bit. The director takes inspiration from the 26/11 Mumbai blasts. The killing of a brave cop in the terrorist encounter, the poor quality bullet-proof vest controversy, all form part of the screenplay (Vishnuvardhan-Suba). The touch point also seems to be the Travolta-flick Swordfish.
The film has an ensemble cast. The director does a perfect balancing act, giving each character its space. Smartly dressed (costumer Anu) and elegant in his Clooney-style salt-pepper looks, Ajith as AK is suave, cool and a delight to watch. Nayanthara gets a meaty role, and plays Maya with flair. Arya as the cheerful happy-go-lucky Arjun, plays it just right. Taapsee as his girl is cute, bubbly and funny. The scenes depicting their college days provide the film’s lighter moments. Kishore lends intensity to the role of Prakash. Daggubati in a cameo as AK’s buddy Sanjay leaves a marked impression. It’s a touching moment between AK and Sanjay at the shootout. Manjrekar (as the minister), Kulkarni (as the bad cop), and Suman Ranganathan (as the media person) provide adequate support.
The plot traverses through exotic locales. In well-choreographed stunt scenes there is a bike-ride on the roads, a racy boat chase in Dubai, and a shootout at a hilly range where an exchange of hostages takes place.Om Prakash’s camera enhances the slick glossy look. At times, the style does seem to overpower the content. It’s a long -drawn climax. Yuvanshankar Raja’s background score towards the climax peps up the mood.
There are the logistic flaws, and also the language problem yet again. At times, the dialogue of the Mumbai minister and the cop have a Tamil voiceover. But, at most times they all speak various accented Tamil. After a racy first half, the second half slackens, and could have been made crisper. Slick and stylishly packaged Arrambam keeps one entertained for the most part. It should be a treat to Ajith-fans.