Andhaghaaram review: A stylish, moody thriller

Andhaghaaram review: A stylish, moody thriller

Andhaghaaram shows that in atmospheric thrillers, even a well-acted minor role elevates the story

The lives of a visually challenged librarian (Vinoth Kishan) who is capable of talking to spirits, a dispirited cricketer (Arjun Das) who fears his house is haunted and a famous psychiatrist (Kumar Natarajan) who is coping with trauma after losing his family, are interlinked. Credit: Twitter/ Netflix

Language: Tamil

Director: V Vignarajan

Cast: Arjun Das, Vinoth Kishan, Kumar Natarajan, Misha Ghoshal

Rating: 3.5/5

Streaming on Netflix

The OTT boom has given us the luxury of choice but also made us impatient. All it takes is a click to switch contents. Given this, debutant V Vignarajan’s Andhaghaaram runs close to three hours! Is that a problem? Not at all!

The film begins with the statement ‘the devil is in the detail’ and stays true to it. Every single scene is etched out with great care. In almost every frame, all cinematic aspects come together in fine fashion to make Andhaghaaram a stylish, moody supernatural thriller.

The lives of a visually challenged librarian (Vinoth Kishan) who is capable of talking to spirits, a dispirited cricketer (Arjun Das) who fears his house is haunted and a famous psychiatrist (Kumar Natarajan) who is coping with trauma after losing his family, are interlinked. The film adopts a non-linear narrative to tell us how.

It’s the slick background-score and the terrific cinematography that keeps us curious throughout the film. The jump scares are effective and cleverly placed. With each scene adding a new layer to the story,  the first hour is a superb achievement,

Lack of big names notwithstanding, the cast is the film’s backbone. Andhaghaaram shows that in atmospheric thrillers, even a well-acted minor role elevates the story. Not to forget the well-written dialogues that keep us on our toes. 

As the scared, confused, and broken man, Arjun Das is the standout performer. Vinoth Kishan aces a difficult role. Characters with disabilities often seek sympathy. But here, it's the genuine personality of the character that makes us root for it. 

Andhaghaaram loses steam when it gets deep into the lives of its central characters. We sense that those portions don’t largely impact the big-reveal and we are proven right.

Towards the end, the film finds it difficult to handle its weight of ambition and fails to deliver a knockout punch. All dots are connected at one go as Andhaghaaram leaves us with an underwhelming aftertaste.

The climax is a minor and the only quibble. Andhaghaaram is special and perhaps the best Indian OTT release of the week.