The thing about ‘Eeram’ is that for more than 3/4ths of the film, the director is continuously screaming to you from behind the screen – ‘see how different I have made this frame look?’, ‘see how logically I have connected these scenes?’. This almost kid-like enthusiasm is very palpable at the other side of the screen. Clearly, this is a man who has put everything he has got into his first film.
I read a few reviews talking about inspiration from ‘what lies beneath’ and ‘dark water’. I havent seen the latter and the former was forgettable anyway. Honestly, I dont think it matters because the script itself is a very trivial part of this film, in my opinion. What ‘Eeram’ has achieved is to create one of the sleekest films ever in this language. And that is something.
In the age of Vijay and Sundar. C (2 guys who have single (double, actually) handedly killed tasteful cinema in Tamil), the things you yearn for as a fan are: that refreshingly creative frame, or that momentarily intelligent line, or that realistic make-up…..just any semblance of proof that the creator really had a flame burning inside him and that he did not merely go through motions.
There is a pretty ordinary scene in the film, where a bunch of police officers meet in a swank conference room and discuss a suicide in an apartment (forget the fact that it is ludicrous to conceive that the entire police force in a city will sit together in a conf room to discuss a solitary death). However, the scene opens with a close-up of a glass of water with a coaster on top of it, and the cops in the background. Beauty! It is scenes like these that make ‘Eeram’ an important film in Tamil cinematographic history.
Of course the real protagonist of the film is water and she has never looked so good on screen before! Be it while overflowing from a tub or while splashing onto a face in slow motion or just dripping from the edge of an iron gate or just settling down a glass window as a condensing mist. The ubiquitous blue tone of the film that is occassionally broken with scenes in a full color pallete is just a master stroke!
I googled Manoj Paramahamsa – the cinematographer and he seems rather new. But boy, what a talent! Watch ‘Eeram’ for this man’s work and also for Arivalagan’s creative bursts.
Like I said, the script isnt important, though it is not bad at all. My only peeve with it is, like all ghost stories, this one is also based on revenge. Makes me think…wouldnt it be fun if someone came up with a different kind of a ghost motive? like say a ghost that wants to play cricket or one that wants to run in an election? Thats for another day, I guess…