As director, Shankar is known for his extravagant ventures that highlight a social problem in a commercial
format. But as producer, he has gone in the opposite direction, producing smaller films and introducing fresh
directors. With a string of good films that tackled many genres like romance, drama and social fantasy, his
S Pictures has gained a name for both variety and quality fare and his latest production Eeram keeps that
name intact in both those aspects. A engaging thriller, it slips up towards the end in plot but its technical
strength carries it through.
When Ramya(Sindhu Menon) is found drowned in the bathtub in her apartment, it looks like a clear case of suicide
but Vasu(Aadhi), the Assistant Commissioner, isn't completely convinced. Turns out he and Ramya had been lovers
before but she had ended up marrying Balakrishnan(Bala) because of her dad's pressure. As Vasu investigates the
death, others in the same apartment complex also start dying.
Suspension of disbelief is a given for movies like these and Eeram initially does a pretty good job of
making it easy for us to suspend our disbelief. Aadhi's investigation is painstaking and logical and since we
know only as much as he does, we are with him as everything points in one direction while his gut feel is that
something else is true. The mounting deaths(mostly picturized with restraint as they occur offscreen with no
blood or gore) elevate the suspense and the episodic flashbacks to the Aadhi-Sindhu romance are quick enough
to not damage the pace.
But then the movie stops playing by its own rules. After going through the pain of setting things up in a
certain way(like, for instance, bringing in an 'expert' to explain what was happening), the film abandons that
and resorts to another, much more familiar ploy to move things along. This changes the equation and even raises
questions about the earlier developments. The disappointment because of this is twofold. One, it allows the
director to take the easy way out for some situations(like Aadhi finding out what really happened, which by the
way, is a very good surprise). Two, it makes the climax very low-key and anticlimactic as a falling water bottle
makes us look forward to a rousing finish but a fight sequence and a press conference make the movie end with
Its obvious that just as much thought has gone into the film's technical aspects as has gone into the story.
It neat that almost every scene has water, either overtly as in rain or water leaking from a pipe or more subtly,
as in bottled water being transported in a cart. Even when Cars that is playing on TV, the scene we see is
the one where Lightning McQueen splashes water when driving through a puddle and shakes himself dry! The film is
dark and moody with even the outdoor shots taking place when its overcast or rainy. Blue is the dominant
color and bright colors are avoided.
Aadhi's role here is quite a change from his role in Mirugam. Lean and tall,
he fits the role of the cop. He seems a little stiff but shows that he can be relaxed in the romantic sequences.
Bala is a little low-key initially but comes into his own later. Sindhu is rather nondescript and though she
is the pivot around which the story revolves, it is not an intense or heavy role. Saranya Mohan plays another
younger sister role where, barring a couple of scenes, she isn't required to do anything different from how
she played her other roles.