Aagam is an tamil movie direction by debut director Vijay Anand Shreeram. The movie stars Irfan, Jayaprakash, Riyas Khan and debut actress Dheekshita in lead roles.
The film begins with a voice over introduction of a typical family – grandfather (who is there in exactly a scene-and-a-half), mother, father, brother, and finally the narrator, who you expect to be the protagonist of the film, but isn’t. In fact, this kind of sets the tone for the rest of the film – you expect a lot from it (like a coherent storyline, a decent plot, a proper understanding of characters) – but then it simply isn’t there.
We learn in fact, that the protagonist is Sai (Irfan), who is suave enough to manage to hold down a full-time job at a recruitment agency, and an MBA degree. Sai isn’t like most youngsters today. Sai strongly believes that India is still a ‘developing’ country, thanks to well-educated youngsters moving to the States or the UK, in search of ‘better prospects’. So he sets up DQIM (the very original Don’t Quit India Movement), which is basically a recruitment agency that discourages youngsters to from going abroad and instead finds employment for them in India itself.
This is the point where the film throws at you, confusing acronyms, which you have to sort of write down to keep track of. The inspiration behind DQIM is OPIC (Operation Positive India Conciousness), which we assure you, is not exactly what it sounds like. We eventually learn through a ‘touching’ back story that the OPIC movement was founded by his uncle, who is actually someone the antagonist, Riyaz Khan is after. How and why are confusing sub-plots aided by shoddy cuts and no scene-to-scene coherence!
However, one has to hand it to the director and the writer, because all the characters and their stories seem to have a conclusion. Because, hey, what if the audience goes home wondering what happened to a character, right? And if that means killing off characters, for no rhyme or reason, why not?
Performance-wise, everyone has given it their all. Irfan makes an effort to look convincing (especially in the scenes where he is being brain mapped), and not comical. The heroine of the film Deekshita essays Archana, a typical college girl, who sometimes, cannot just take a hint. There are a smattering of other characters, too, like the vellaikaaris who are one minute by the antagonist Riyaz Khan’s side, and the other, dancing to an item number in a bar. Only later on, do you realize that they have hidden agendas, too – because, hey, they aren’t just mere props in the film, OK? Jayaprakash as Irfan’s uncle/inspiration plays his character well, delivering what is expected of him. Riyaz Khan is the trademark villain, backed by his politician father – played by Y Gee Mahendra.
One has to give it to this film, because it really does try. The director, V Vijay Anand Sriram a PhD holder himself (who makes an extended cameo appearance in the film, too), we learn, spent eight years researching the film. We only wish that everything about this film wasn’t so confusing – starting with the story line, the back stories, the mind-boggling amount of actual ‘science’ in the film, brain mapping….(this could take a while).