Director: K M Sarjun
Cast: Nayanthara, Kalaiyarasan, Yogi Babu
Tamil cinema has in recent times sunk into a dark slot. Films are repetitive, unimaginatively conceived and bizarrely written. A classic example of this is the horror genre which is being beaten to death. The latest here, the Nayanthara-starrer, Airaa, helmed by newcomer K M Sarjun, is one long yawn at over 140 minutes of felines prowling, people being dragged or hung from trees or thrown down from roof tops, creaking swings and a modern, young woman who runs away from her marriage to her grandmother's home in the rural Tamil Nadu town of Pollachi. And the grand mother is blind, but seems to have a sharper vision than most people with normal eyesight do.
Nayanthara plays Yamuna, a journalist, who peeved over her editor's refusal to let her start a YouTube channel, begins one herself and uploads ghost stories to catch eyeballs and make money. Her grandmother's palatial, but eerie looking bungalow appears to be the perfect pitch for Yamuna's journalistic adventures. If this was not enough to get us impatient, Sarjun gets Nayanthara to play a second role as dark-complexioned Bhavani, who appears as a flashback illusion.
It is not clear what exactly is the director's motive in filling his canvas with a whole lot of unconnected incidents. A road accident, two cops walking into a deserted house in the dead of night and a third track (apart from Yamuna and Bhavani) involving Amudhan (Kalaiyarasan), who stumbles on to one dead man after another.
In the end, Airaa looks like a badly visualised jigsaw puzzle, whose pieces do not piece together. A rank bad plot, a shoddy script and actors who sleepwalk through their parts. Yes, Nayanthara is good, but in patches (Bhavani is one), and I cannot understand why someone like her with some remarkable movies behind her, chose Airaa.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran is an author, commentator and movie critic)