Cast: Ganesh Venkatraman, Munna, Poonam Kaur
It must have taken a lot of courage for actor Ganesh Venkatraman (seen earlier in small roles in Abhiyum Naanum and Unnaipol Oruvan/A Wednesday in Hindi) to turn a sort of baddie in debutant Mohankrishna's Tamil work, Achaaram (Pact).
In his first ever full-fledged part, Venkatraman plays Surya, the cop -- who is so devastated by the elopement of his fiancee hours before their marriage that he turns a predator from a protector.
At 139 minutes, Achaaram, despite its fast pace, is often bogged down by silly, totally uncalled for, songs and dances that never seem to end. Must Indian cinema still live by the premise that a film must be a "complete" entertainer? Even a crime drama like Achaaram where the protagonist is driven by vengeance and vendetta, must have its quota of songs. Silly, really.But then, when even well established helmers in Indian cinema are not gutsy enough to do this, one hardly expects a newcomer like Mohankrishna to step out of the stereotype sing-song storytelling!
However, if there is a redeeming feature about Achaaram, it lies with Venkatraman, who has neatly transformed himself from the chocolaty Sikh in Abhiyum Naanum into an actor, who knocks enough emotions into a role that could not have been easy. But Poonam Kaur, as Ramya the girl who wrongs Surya to marry her lover, Shiva (Munna), is an absolute disappointment. Barring a few scenes at the end, she appears quite uncomfortable. And naturally so. It is certainly no cakewalk for a North Indian actor to act in a Tamil movie -- something which many in the industry have been critical about.
A tighter script, better direction and a less distracting background score (hear the 'swish' every time Surya appears on screen) could have turned Achaaram into an absorbing 90-minute plot.