After a series of template horror-comedy films, Siddharth and Milind Rau have come up with Aval, a smartly made proper thriller mixed with emotions. The script is considered to be based on a real-life incident. Apart from producing and acting, Siddharth has also co-written the movie with Milind Rau.
For those who are annoyed by irritating comedies in Tamil horror films, Aval could come as a whiff of fresh air. It is meticulously detailed and has been made with the sole focus to scare people. It would be no less than fascinating for horror film lovers. but for the mainstream audience who are used to the mundane comedy-horror template, Aval might not be so appealing.
Horror has many sub-genres and possession of a house is one common theme that you find in Tamil films. A family moves into a house, which has a terrifying past. The demon in the house tries to haunt the new family and how they manage to survive, is a fixed template. Aval does follow a similar pattern, but there is a difference in the purpose and how it has been made.
Just like many mystery thrillers, Aval too takes its own sweet time to introduce its characters and settle into a rhythm. The film has a straightforward and honest approach without many compromises. No songs, no wanted scenes that reduce the intensity but since the genre by itself has its limitations; you are not offered anything that takes you by surprise. Maybe a few more spine-chilling scenes could have made a difference.
Siddharth’s recent films show us that he is honestly trying to change the lover boy image that he has been carrying for years. Just like how his recent works Jigarthanda, Enakkul Oruvan and Jil Jung Juk have shown him in contrastive shades, you could see a different shade of Siddharth in Aval.
Aval has only about six to seven central characters, and all of them have been put to good use. In fact, Anisha Angelina Victor, a debutant in a prime role gets an equivalent screen space as Siddarth. Andrea looks comfortable with her role and her performance is adequate.
The writing is strong and the dialogues meaningful. Right after your first introduction with the ghost, you get a ‘Basic Instinct’ style intimate scene, and you are left wondering why it happens. But the intensity of the scene shows itself in the climax; thereby indicating the depth in writing. However, the pre-climax could have been conceived differently as it seemed cliched.
Technically, the film scores high with good music backed by an exceptional world-class sound design. Cinematographer Shreyaas Krishna has tried his best to make the visuals look on par with international films.