Vikram wants money. Lots of it. So he can buy things: a fancy apartment, classy designer clothes, and a high-end car. He works hard for that though – an architect, he comes up with a proposal to build an indigenous theme park for his construction company. But his life goes for a spin when the proposal gets rejected by the rich and ruthless industrialist Chandrashekharan.
So, Sarabham is about the third deadly sin – greed. Greed is what drives the narrative, and its three central characters. There is Chandrashekaran, the unscrupulous tycoon who values money more than relationships. His tall, lithe Angelina Jolie lookalike daughter Shruti (Salony Luthra) has a prominent ‘Sarabham’ tattoo behind her neck and a need for cash to go settle abroad. And Vikram is caught between the two, thrown into a web of deceit and crime in his quest for easy wealth.
What brings an element of novelty to this thriller are the characters – they’re raw and unapologetic; manipulative and destructive; no remorse nor regret about what they do.
Vikram is the typical ambition-driven youth of today. He is brutally materialistic and competitive. There isn’t much said about him, but we are made to know, somehow, that he aspires to become rich. Super rich. He doesn’t have a family, there’s no past that we are told about, and when he finally meets a girl, it’s still about money. [quote align=’right’]”What brings an element of novelty to this thriller are the characters – they’re raw and unapologetic; manipulative and destructive; no remorse nor regret about what they do.”[/quote]And this time, it’s about how to make money. Together, they hatch a terrific ploy, celebrate it in a pub, and part as friends. There are no songs or montages that hint at romance; it’s quite practical and plain to see. Right down to the background music. But what adds some colour to these staid proceedings, are cinematographer Krishna Vasanth’s lovely tones, especially during those moments at night.
Sarabham’s villain is more avaricious, though. He lives in a bungalow near the beach, and has a substance-addicted daughter who only covets his wealth. He can’t do anything more but despise her for what she has become. But it’s this lone woman whom we find arresting. Shruti is contemptuous, indifferent and cagey – all in the same breath. She also snorts cocaine, loathes her father but wants his money, and invites herself to Vikram’s apartment. She’s straight out of a Jeffrey Archer novel. For Vikram though, Shruti betrays no emotion.
The movie’s second half unfolds in a rapid pace. There are twists and turns in quick succession. Yet, the suspense isn’t riveting, and we could quite predict a few of those ‘twists’.[quote]”Salony’s character picks up unhurriedly, unexpectedly, and yet it looms over the story. She is inscrutable, yet you feel a weird empathy; she is calm, yet you know there is a huge tide brewing inside her.” [/quote] But debutant director Arun Mohan does manage to pique interest with the screenplay: Naveen Chandra’s Vikram is greedy yet seems helpless about it while Aadukalam Naren effortlessly portrays the power-hungry tycoon Chandrasekharan.
But Sarabham belongs to Salony Luthra. She shines in the movie, as does her quirky tattoo. Her character picks up unhurriedly, unexpectedly, and yet it looms over the story. She is inscrutable, yet you feel a weird empathy; she is calm, yet you know there is a huge tide brewing inside her. It has to be one of the most fascinatingly written female protagonists in recent times. And newcomer Luthra is business-like about it. It’s all in a day’s work for her.
The Sarabham review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.