Director- Mohan Krishna
Cast- Ganesh Venkatraman, Munna, Poonam Kaur, Gnanadesh Ambedkar, OAK Sunder.
He has essayed varied supporting roles in films. And though fairly neatly enacted, they were largely single dimensional not really giving the actor much space to experiment or to tap his potential. But with Achaaram, Ganesh Venkatraman has sprung a surprise. His Surya, a strict upright cop with his own mental trauma, a character with gray shades, is a challenging one. But Venkatraman goes through the various nuances with efficiency and conviction. The debutant director has tried to offer a dark psychotic thriller with some freshness in its theme. But the screenplay could have been more interestingly crafted and the narrative style more polished.
The opening scenes depict some murders in Chennai.
Police officer Surya is shown mercilessly shooting down lovers on the run or the ones in an illicit relationship. What is left to be known is the motive behind his antagonism.
The narrative then tracks Surya’s journey, the strict cop on a punishment transfer to Kodaikanal. The lush and cool environs contrast with the dark happenings to follow.
A robbery in the house of architect Shiva and his wife Ramya (Munna, Poonam), brings the couple in close proximity to Surya. Munna could have got more involved in his role. Poonam comes out well in the emotional scenes towards the end.
There is a sense of deja vu in the episodes of Surya taking interest in the case of the couple and his obsession with Ramya; the catching of the thief and the psychotic side of the cop revealed; the killing of the senior cop ( Sunder fitting in neatly) who warns Surya; and of Surya deviously trapping Shiva and moving him out of the way for his final act.
For we have seen all this in the Ray Liotta film, Unlawful Entry. The sympathy of the audience is evoked, after they have been taken on a flashback journey to his past. This whole episode, more of a typical Indian scenario which we get to read in the papers often, is crafted with a fair degree of conviction.
The narration takes on a total action-thriller mode after this, the scenes moving in fast succession.
The cinematography is neat (Prathap), but the song numbers look forced as they appear at inopportune moments, slackening the pace.
The director has tried to infuse some freshness in the theme. If only the screenplay was more coherent and the treatment had more finesse. Achaaram is at the most, a promising work of a debutant maker.