Out Of Theatre

Aivarattam

Out Of Theatre
13 Mar, 2015 1 hr 48 mins U
Dushyanth Jayaprakash, Niranjan Jayaprakash, Amruth Kalam, Jayaprakash, CK Senthilkumar, Nithya Shetty
Synopsis
A edge-of-the-seat sports film that shows promise, but doesn't deliver
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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Synopsis: A village's junior and senior teams compete against one another for the cup in a football tournament. But there's more at stake here as the team has stepbrothers playing against each other, and warring brothers as coaches.

Movie Review: It could have been an edge-of-the-seat sports film and an engaging family drama but there is a lot that is underdeveloped in Aivarattam that feels like one of those films that show promise but don't deliver.

Stepbrothers Kumar and Raghu are on the junior and senior football clubs in a village. The big shot there is a patron of the game and conducts a yearly tournament. His younger brother, Bhoopathy, has taken over as the coach of the senior team from the youngest, Jagadesh, who has become an outcast in the family after marrying a lower caste girl. An on-field skirmish between Kumar and one of the senior players results in tensions flaring up and leads to the juniors entering the tournament under the guidance of Jagadesh. Thus, the game turns into a battle between two brothers.

A film dealing with five-player football, a concept that is popular in Sivaganga and surrounding areas, sounds interesting but how did the game originate and more importantly, how did it gain such popularity in the district? We hardly get any answers in Aivarattam . But, at least as a sports film, it works to an extent. We get a classic David vs Goliath angle, a hurting loss that becomes inspirational, a no-nonsense coach, a training montage song, and some niftily shot and edited on-field games that ratchet up the tension.

The film gets on to shaky ground every time the action shifts from the field, and strangely the director keeps steering it into family drama territory. The relationships between the characters are painted in broad strokes as are the characters themselves, so we do not invest in the emotional upheavals on screen. The characters of Jagadesh and Bhoopathy are underwritten while the relationship between Kumar and Raghu is hardly explored. All that we get is a reference to them being like the stepbrothers Agni Natchathiram in the dialogues though this rivalry hardly comes to the fore. At best, they seem to be indifferent towards each other. Even the romance between Raghu and Rathna, the sister of the coaches is halfheartedly presented while the caste angle is very hesitantly dealt with.

But the biggest letdown is the climax, where the director totally abandons the game in favour of a tragic melodramatic ending that feels forced, and pointlessly ends the film on a downbeat note.
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