Aviyal is an independent Tamil anthology film written and directed by six directors such as Alphonse Putharen, Shameer Sultan, Mohit Mehra, Lokesh Kanagaraj and Guru Smaran. Actors including Nivin Pauly, Bobby Simha and Arjunan Nandakumar have featured in the short films included in the anthology. Produced by Karthik Subbaraj’s Stone Bench Creations, it is the second venture after Bench Talkies – The First Bench (2015).
The difficulty with short films is that you get only a small window of time to impress the audience. And thus, the concept and execution should be top notch for short films. The advantage is that the maker is not bound by commercial clutches as much as in mainstream movies. The theme of Aviyal is black comedy and has 5 short films, of which 4 are directed by up and coming short film directors and one by Alphonse Putheran.
The movie starts with Shameer Sultan’s short film about a man who wants to pursue movies but is stuck with his corporate job. It is in fact a very short film and is screened before title credits. The other 4 short films are:
Shrutibedham: Directed by Mohit Mehra, it is about a young man Raj (Rohit) who falls for his young aunt – mother’s sister, Shruti (Amrutha Sreenivasan) who is of his age group, only to get snubbed in the end. His logic being, if a girl can marry her mother’s brother why can’t I marry my mother’s sister. This short movie failed to evoke laughter (well, none of the movies really did) and also the movie gave a feeling of being stretched. The direction too, was immature in a few scenes. Rohit as Raj has done fairly well. His performance can be said as only “fairly well” because Amrutha Sreenivasan as Shruti has done beautifully. She was a natural in that character.
Kalam: This short film directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj is about a budding director who has a deadline to submit his movie and the road blocks he faces because of a pick pocket named Michael, and the startling revelation of who is behind the road blocks. Of all the movies in the anthology, this was the second most impressive one. But when you appraise the movie independently, the movie makes for an interesting watch with a gripping cat and mouse tale but then loses steam and ends up with a climax that is not as impressive. Deepak Paramesh as the budding director has done his part well. The rest of the cast did their part – nothing to complain, nothing to praise.
Kanneer Anjali: Directed by Guru Smaran, this short film is a comedy horror about two friends who take the ashes of their dead friend to Rameshwaram and how they come in the middle of a drug peddler, a drug dealer and the police and how the dead friend comes to their rescue as a ghost. This short film evoked mild laughter here and there but there was nothing that amuses the audience. Among the cast, Arjunan Nandakumar does well. The cast for the malayalee drug peddler is bad. They could have used a person who could speak Malayalam.
Eli: Made by Malayalam director Alphonse Putheran, this short film is about a local gangster (Bobby Simha) who is out to kill Nivin Pauly. He narrates a story of a rat who would eventually be killed by a cat wherever it escapes to. If it is destined to die, it would die. Does he succeed in killing Nivin Pauly forms the rest of the short film. This is the most impressive of the lot though it seemed to be added just for the star value it brings. The movie stayed true to the given theme of a black comedy.
The movie is different from the regular mainstream or commercial cinema. The good things stop there and the movie ends up being a tiresome and disappointing watch. The technical aspects like cinematography and editing of the movie as a whole could not be reviewed as effectively as it could be done for a regular mainstream movie but they have all done their part neatly.
Directed by Alphonse Putharen, Shameer Sultan, Mohit Mehra, Lokesh Kanagaraj, Guru Smaran
Produced by Karthik Subbaraj
Starring Nivin Pauly, Bobby Simha, Arjunan Nandakumar
Music by Rajesh Murugesan, Vishal Chandrasekhar, Javed Riaz, Shammeer Sultan
Cinematography Mathan Gunadeva, Suriya Rajarajan, Selva Kumar, Kugan Palani, Anand Chandran
Edited by Anil Krishnan, Alphonse Putharen, Rohit, Philomein Raj, Prasanna GK, Boopathi Raj
Release dates 11 March 2016