Arishadvarga: Gripping and psychologically insightful

Last Updated 27 November 2020, 18:43 IST



Director: Arvind Kamath

Cast: Nanda Gopal, Avinash, Samyukta Hornad,

Rating: 4/5

A murder of a film producer in an upscale home. Three trapped innocents — a gigolo, an aspiring actress, and an auto driver who is also a petty thief. The dead man’s film editor-wife who tells her version of the story. And a police inspector determined to find the murderer.

Arishadvarga (meaning six internal sins), a neo-noir thriller directed by Aravind Kamath, explores the length to which one can be consumed by the six sins explained in the Hindu texts.

The lead character, the inspector, is an embodiment of all six sins. A master planner, he slowly, steadily and tactically approaches and traps the killer. Instead of stopping there, he goes on to do the unthinkable.

In the process, many faces of truth are revealed, and every character tries to use every other character. Nothing is what it seems. Everyone is selfish and struggles to survive, but finally, the big fish eats all small fish. Evil wears no mask, but nobody dares to see or confront it. There is no scope for regret or any ethical dilemma—it is just a fight for the best life can offer.

The cinema shocks and surprises you, just like it does two characters in the movie: the maid who works at the dead man’s house and the constable who works with the inspector.

Nanda Gopal, as the all-knowing, stone-faced inspector Ashok Kalburgi, aces the character. He hides an ocean of emotion and wit inside him. Kruthi Bhat (Anju Alva Naik) is a new talent. The director has got the best out of the other characters, too.

The movie starts with a special thanks to renowned auteur Sriram Raghavan. It even has shades of Andhadhun directed by him, but is very different from it. If you are looking for variety in story-telling, this neo-noir movie is for you. If you are expecting a moral high ground, you won’t find it here.

Arishadvarga is pure drama, probably the darkest of all recent movies to have hit the screen in India. Deservingly, the film has premiered at various international film festivals.

(Published 27 November 2020, 18:34 IST)

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