Aranmanai 3: Into the Aranmanai-verse

Beyond Imagination

In Aranmanai 3, Yogi Babu plays a thief called Abhishek (lel), who thinks he has stolen 10 kg of gold and safeguards it in the titular Aranmanai.

But the audience knows that it is not 10 kg of gold but 10 kg of dosa batter.

How far can this joke be extended successfully?

Sundar C does it for almost 3 hours.

Actually, this is nothing for Sundar C, compared to how he has managed to extend the same-premise franchise for three whole movies and maybe into the future as well.

“Cash grab!” someone shouts.

Yes, but only in ways like how the MCU is a source of recurring revenue. It is a cash grab but certainly better in many ways than the immediately comparable Kanchana franchise.

“Okay, they are really serious about discussing the Aranmanai franchise” someone shouts.

Yes, as is the case, we are ahead of the curve in assessing pop-culture phenomenons, when all other review bodies can only see this as a cash grab. They will continue to see it as a cash grab till maybe the fifth or sixth installment (or till the point of ego-breakdown) and write think pieces about how “Aranmanai” is actually good.

This cycle happened for many franchises, including The Fast and the Furious, whenever review bodies see franchises, they see it is as a devious corporate attempt to extract more money from the same.

Maybe true.

But Aranmanai 3 is actually good. Very good.

And I am not saying this because of my inherent bias towards Raashi Khanna films. #FullDisclosure

Astrologer asks: What’s your Raashi, Khanna?

A good way to gauge interest while watching a movie is to pause it at any moment (thanks to OTT) and see if we are able to guess the rest of the way. Most of the movies would fail in this test, but the investment that I have in the characters alone would see me through.

For Aranmanai 3, I tried to do this multiple times and always Sundar C and team always won.

If Aranmanai can be seen as an extension of Chandramukhi and Aranmanai 2 an entry which was just finding it’s footing in mythological horror; Aranmanai 3 can be seen as Sundar C completely embracing the madness.


Always crazy in thought and totally shocking in execution, you will see stone lions come to life, undying love and half dead bodies, scheming paintings, competing saamiyars, poison spewing paatis, piano playing ghosts, tik tok obsessed aunts, matted lock sadhu brigade and lots and lots more that you will forget to be shocked when singers Shankar Mahadevan and Hariharan appear as themselves leading a lord Murgan themed rock concert somewhere in the unreachable hills in this undefined film.

If the writing team had suggested 100 ideas during the discussion, all of them, repeat, all of them, made it into the film.

It’s great! It’s baroque! It’s nothing like anything!

It’s a movie where two ghosts come together to form a combined fighting unit!

What’s not to like?

Sundar C what you did there

Then there is director Sundar C himself recurs as Ravi, the great controller of all the strands of the plot. Each of these strands as dangerous as the snakes on Medusa’s head and only he can make sense of it all, and even that pressure is lifted off from our shoulders.

The satisfaction.

Also, this is the last appearance of Vivek sir, extending his sadboi comedian persona well into the beyond, he will be missed.

Aranmanai 4, yes over here, I’m interested; but can Sundar C ever top this?

Aranmanai 3 is now streaming on Zee 5.

cinema cinema:tamil



Hello all,

In keeping with the need to provide something new to the reader even in these dark times of incessant bad films we have decided to drop our initial simple verbosity to more graphic, easily understandable numerical schoolboy type ratings system for our movies.

Readers should realise that this is not because of the laziness on the part of our writers, and one more rating system to the existing pool will not make any difference.

We have realised that movie reviewing is a complex process and should not be streamlined akin to a car on an assembly line, but we also feel we have wasted enough words on films that do not even deserve an exclamation. Hence the Faulty Rating System (FRS™), yes this rating is inherently flawed and we hope to achieve some balance as we plod along, there is no science behind this and I’m sure you the reader will have no difficulty in understanding them.

We openly agree that these ratings are not fair, free or fearless and we pray the reader has this in mind all the time.

The Editor, the Lowly Laureate.

Fortunately or unfortunately the first film to be tried under FRS is Irandam Ulagam.

And so it begins.


+1: for anyone making any movie without Santhanam in it. (Fundamental Rule)

+1: for anyone attempting anything other than a comedy featuring Santhanam in combination with some other mildly irritating comic actor. (Extension of fundamental rule)

-3: for trying to show alien land by colouring rocks in purple and orange

-2: white painted face characters that look like they have landed after rehearsing for Dracula: Dead and loving it, the stage musical

-6.5: absolute loss of lip sync, excess point deducted for making audience go through banal dialogue.

– 3: wall of violins to show stirring scenes via classical music BGM, but nothing moves in the movie.

-2: Other world people are dumb, have no concept of love; yet repeatedly try to rape and plunder.

+2: Other world people are actually happy folk whose only worry would have been the non-blooming of color color flowers, do not know why the director is misleading us here. <Points given as grace from audience understanding>

-1: graphics lion whose face is more human than all the human characters in the film

+1: too little irritating characters

-1: too little characters, irritating nevertheless

-2 : orange colour water fall used to indicate other world

-3 : dragons flying over every city but not doing anything else, why are they flying anyway?

-4 : guy drinking in bar, singing badly about love loss, love failure (extra points because this devastating trope has been extended badly to aliens also, yes other world has bar with color color bottles)

-5: Arya

-10: Arya in double role

-10: unwanted show of heroine midriff (generally) especially while sword training in winter when everyone in the other world is more clothed in fur than a hundred wolves

-5: the usual trope that however independent the girl is, she becomes a girl only when “vekkam” comes (vekkam comes has a nice ring to it, anyone use it). Heroine equally fierce in battle as hero, but finally subdues herself???

+12: for the foreigners who speak better tamil than the leads

+5: one unexpected happening

-7: caring heroine who surrounds herself with children and do happy-wappy things just so hero can see and fall in love trope

-8: sudden appearance of numerous villainous characters twenty minutes before movie ends

+8: the appearance of hapless villains is laughter evoking.

-3: curiously shaped swords and increased waiting time of thugs to react, so that hero can finish all dialogs

-1: using swearwords on screen is liberating thing (esp this director, see earlier films)

-2: kick in the groin (supposed to evoke laughter, done multiple times)

-7: Unwanted songs, whenever and wherever placed

-1: knowledgeable young oracle called “Amma” who knows everything, just won’t say anything till the end of the movie trope

-290: true love is undying and all that. (Oh my god!)

+15 to all those who feel the movie is an utter and complete waste of time, but who will be sniped by parties who will put arguments such as , “if only this had been a Hollywood director you won’t question anything”

For which there is only one counter-argument, if it is a good movie you will know it when you see it and a good movie can be made anywhere. And it is clearly possible to make a passable-good movie with the above mentioned tropes.

All numbers are arbitrary and instantaneous.



Review Board, the Lowly Laureate

cinema cinema:tamil

CK and MM at the Movies: RAJA RANI




< A famous film critic walked past Caustic Kumar and Moderate Manohar brandishing her free ticket at the poor duo who had been assigned the task of reviewing Raja Rani>

Caustic Kumar: Why doesn’t she pay for the tickets? Why don’t we get press tickets?

Moderate Manohar: Heh, we aren’t even press and I think she is going to give a 4/5 rating and calling it an ‘instant classic’

CK: You’re quite right you know, another Friday another disappointment

MM: My inherent moderate outset…doesn’t allow me to see things your way

CK: there is nothing called an inherent moderate outlook, we are all animals, just that you choose to hide your fur

MM: Didn’t realise you were this angry, but yeah movie was sleep inducing at worst, clearly better than most formulaic

CK: This is formulaic with a double capital F, this is Mouna Ragam with a Mohan back story without any of the interesting moments, and this is Rhythm…wait why am I even comparing this with those

MM: Unfair to compare a debutante’s work with a really fine Vasanth film, we should take this like a film made for today’s youth, reflecting today’s sensibilities

CK: We are today’s YOUTH!!!< Brushes hair forward to hide premature dynamic balding>

MM <laughs>

CK: The only good thing about this film is that it made me think about how nuanced Rhythm is, how loss of a loved one in turn blooms into love for another; this in turn  is an ad film, look at the house they live, it looks like an endorsement for German-made furniture, this film has the heart of a refrigerator. People don’t live like that. <Mumbles further>

MM: At least we had Satyaraj, another example as to how a stature of an actor really fills up for an underwritten role, this film was jumping with character sketches

CK: yes the lovers of the past are expected to be cute and innocent, which is what they are; which is ONLY what they are; the only guy who comes out with minor scratches.

MM: your problem is with the subject matter and not with the filming.

CK: What filming?

<Both laugh>

MM: I agree the film has its faults, but I won’t pour out my anger on someone’s films; I don’t think that is right

CK: I have nowhere else to show my anger in this world, is it too much to ask for an honest film?

MM: We don’t want to go the philosophy-ideologue dialogue, so what did u think of the film’s hero?

CK: You mean Santhanam? He is in this enviable unstoppable streak of one liners, seems films are just made show they can take out his reels to Adithya Channel at once.

MM: He is really good; the film is close to nothing without him.

CK: As I believe, most films improve with days and with subsequent bad films; with the continuing trend people in 2020 will call this an epic romance, so we might as well show this the anger it deserves now. So what’s your one-line on this one?

MM: You know I am not these creative types, but I would like to listen to yours. <pretends to listen but invokes a mobile program that downloads the latest Newsroom episode>

CK<clears throat>: OK here goes, “Raja Rani Rocket and Roarer make up the Jog falls, this Raja Rani made things quite false”

MM: Rhymes <shows thumbs up mockingly>

MM: Next time we must ask the chief for a raise, why do we even do this? It is not as if people are going to stop watching the films we thrash or buy the DVDs of which we worship. Leave all that, nobody even reads us. Why do we even do this?

CK: I dunno…for the love of movies?

MM: for the love of movies.

<Exeunt in auto with working meter>