This river takes a few wild (delightful) turns and breaches some untouched shores. One thing Aruvi made me realize is, there’s a few places that Tamil cinema has never taken our female protagonists to. Even for someone who has watched zillion films where a woman weathers life’s worst turns, watching a “Thamizh” girl in such a role, in a “Thamizh” milieu, was (very) very disconcerting.
Tamils as a society and Tamil movies have their own definitions of chastity for girls (and by extension, women). Aruvi pushes you to a corner where you question both.
Watching Alia Bhatt ’Uata Punjab’ I couldn’t help thinking how far actors up north were willing to push the “acceptable” boundaries of a mainstream heroine. Arun Prabu Purushothaman’s Aruvi would have been impossible if not for Aditi Balan; not just for the acting, but for the audacity to step into this character.
The bravado and taboo-shattering of the earlier part of Aruvi disappointingly trades places for the safety of familiar resolutions that lesser Tamil movies seek. Yet! Aruvi is a daring feet all round and a film that has set a new bar for “heroine-based-story”.