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Release Date : 15 May 2009 (India) Genre : Thriller Starcast : Arya, J.D. Chakravarthi Description : When a technically sound film like Sarvam evokes mixed reactions from all quarters (didn't register with me), one is invariably drawn to the conclusion that the source material is probably flawed. This came up during a discussion when my uncle expressed surprise at the director's choice of subject to make a film. This is something that has fascinated me to no end. How do film-makers pick one idea out of the many that cross their minds as the one most appealing to them, most likely to appeal to an audience and also the most demanding of their faculties ? Vishnuvardhan's (director) choice of the story, particularly the narrative, is the intriguing thing about the movie. Sarvam comes under the category of anthology films (Aayidha Ezhuthu) where different sub-narratives are connected by an event, person, place etc. Despite the success of Amorres Perros and the popularity of Aayidha Ezhuthu with youngsters, I doubt if making an anthology-based narrative hinge on an event will gain widespread acceptance. Four Rooms, to me, is as quirky and self-obsessed a movie as can possibly be. Inspite of this, the connecting thread between the four disjointed tales being a person (Tim Roth) lends perspective to the film. Aayidha Ezhuthu involved a place (Napier's Bridge) along with an event as a connector of sorts but it evaded this issue by having three story lines featuring male protagonists who represent three answers to the same question. The point being made is that switching perspectives is the last thing an Indian audience wants to do once it has got a grip of what the story is about and what might unfold. This is somewhat analogous to the preference for full-fledged novels over short-story collections.
Also, movies that change track dramatically just about halfway end up being two different movies eventually. Such films are usually successful when the switch connects with viewers. Sarvam will probably go down in the books as one that didn't. With the result when the switch came, the second half had virtually no participation from me as is possibly the case with many. In other words, for this film to work, it needed to put up a strong case for J D Chakravarthy's character and generate more than just the odd sympathetic nod. In my view, it didn't. Despite the overall feeling of distaste, certain aspects struck me as being worthy of praise. Firstly the cinematography. Few during the eighties and the nineties would have anticipated a surge in this aspect of film-making. Cinematographic excellence is now so frequent in Tamizh cinema (the legacy of Balu Mahendra and Mani Ratnam) that it leads one to believe that soon, it will be taken for granted. Even so, the work here towers above the rest. Be it the songs or the sequences in Munnar, Nirav Shah and Vishnuvardhan work wonders with the camera.
Trisha along with Ilaiyaraja's Mella Mella make the first half worth it. Duration : Size :