The Dalit desperation has been a topic of several politically strong films in the recent past and director Saji Palamel’s Aaradi also belongs to that category. It deals with the issue of Dalits having no land for themselves. Even though the technical glitches of a low budget film like this is forgivable, the political bias and certain exaggerations reduces the impact of the movie’s hard hitting climax.
Our central protagonist Suresh is an active worker of a right wing political party. The movie opens to the scenario where his grandfather, a Gandian freedom fighter loses his life. As the house they own is very small and they don’t have any land to do the cremation, he is looking for a space to take the body to somewhere where the public can offer their last respect and also a place to do the cremation. His journey to find all that and how it all ends eventually is what Aaradi talking about.
Aaradi directly attacks or takes a sarcastic dig at political parties and religious institutions for their lame excuses to hide the superiority complex inside them. In that aspect it has this apolitical blaming agenda which we can’t really deny as we have heard about such discrimination against the Dalits. But what is strikingly awkward is the sheer absence of the left wing in the political picture. Of course we get to know that the political affiliation of the hero is towards the congress. BJP also comes to the picture with their ideologies. But the absence of a communist/ left liberal, sort of puts the movie’s political intentions on a questionable level. Opportunistic religions were also teased effectively.
Except for the political bias I mentioned above, Saji Palamel addresses a lot of aspects about the Dalit life through visuals and scenes. The lack of intensity in most of those scenes which tries to depict the supremacy attitude of the majority is a weakness of this film. Visuals were okay and I liked the last shot of the film that had the protagonist and his home on one side and the symbol of advancement, the road on the other side. The dialogues had the realistic tone.
Among performers Madhu Vibhakar as Suresh is okay. There are certain areas where he can’t really contain the torment. Saji Palamel as the uncle of the character was fine. Gopan Kalharam looked good to be that veteran Gandhian. Sivaji Guruvayoor and Irshad also delivered good performances. Hima Shankar was disappointing and Kochu Preman’s portrayal looked unreal.
To sum up, Aaradi is watchable for sure as it isn’t trying too hard to be an offbeat film. But the lack of its ability to go in to a fresh mould to address issues that have been there in the cinematic lime light for a while, takes away a possible hard hitting feel it could have achieved.
Aaradi is watchable for sure as it isn’t trying too hard to be an offbeat film. But the lack of its ability to go in to a fresh mould to address issues that have been there in the cinematic lime ligh
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended