Set against the backdrop of a forest, the plot captures the events in the life of Arvind and Divya, a couple in love. The debutant director weaves in romance, action and suspense, with a twist at the end.
It opens in a forest with a pair of lovers who eloped being intercepted by a policeman, Pandi. While the girl is handed over to her father, the youngster is brutally assaulted by the cop. The scene establishes the character of the cop — sadistic, ruthless and relentless in the pursuit of lovers who have eloped. Though fairly neat in its scripting and treatment in the first half, the director seems to have lost his plot midway.
The early moments follow the activities of petty thieves Arvind and his two friends. But there is nothing much that is novel or refreshing. Arvind steals a cell phone from Divya, a girl who tried to expose his activities, but the move backfires on him. She forces him to cater to her whims and fancies, and almost empties his pockets. One does wonder why he allowed her to bully him so.
The love affair which gradually blossoms between Arvind and Divya, Pandi’s daughter, has a fairly interesting build-up. These episodes are the better moments in the film. Ram (the film’s co-producer as well), has a presentable screen presence, and for a debutant, handles his role with fair competence.
The scene where Pandi (a menacing Shaji) learns of the love affair between his daughter and Arvind, thanks to a thoughtless act of the latter, is an interesting moment. The whole scenario in the forest where the duo take refuge with Pandi’s rowdies at their heels, offers no excitement.
The background score takes an eerie tone, the ominous cry of a bird making one feel that all was not well with the lovers. But then you get to see them romancing and singing round the forest, and romping around picturesque locations.
Also entering the forest in search of the missing lovers is a furious Pandi, and Arvind’s concerned father Kumaresan (Ilavarasu). Singamuthu and Crane Manohar as the two forest guards, had appeared in the early moments, their comic antics limited to a few tolerable acts.
But in the second half when one expected the lovers to be discovered and the momentum to pick up, the two guards indulge in more of their lacklustre comedy. A bear-hug behind a tree, after which one of the guards emerges with bruised lips, is comedy not the least amusing.
The love saga comes to an abrupt end, with both the lovers and the audience discovering a twist to the tale. A bland ending with the vendetta element unexplored.
The film carries the tagline ‘Discover the Heaven’. But one sees the lovers bursting into regretful tears at the end of the film. Aaranyam is, at the most, a good debut for the filmmaker.