Aranmanai 4: Been There, Seen That Ghost

aranmanai 4

In light of Aranmanai 3’s financial success despite critical backlash, it’s unsurprising to see Sundar C revisiting the franchise to bolster his box office reputation post the stumble of Coffee With Kadhal. Yet, one must acknowledge the director’s knack for crafting a formula that seems impervious to critique. Critics merely need to echo past reviews, and voila!—a review of the latest installment effortlessly emerges.

Aranmanai 4 dutifully follows the established formula, content to ride on the coattails of its predecessors with a resigned acceptance that audiences will flock regardless. It ticks the expected boxes: attractive A-list stars to lure in the youth—Tamannaah here delivering heightened melodrama unprecedented in her repertoire, and Raashi Khanna, present throughout yet leaving minimal impact. Scares cater to thrill-seeking youngsters while remaining palatable, a spiritual touch appeals to female viewers (bolstered by dual yesteryear actress cameos), and family-friendly comedy, albeit diminishing in quality, persists (Yogi Babu and cohorts failing to muster laughs).

Aranmanai 4 trailer

The familiar tropes parade on—grandiose mansions, amorphous specters, grisly murders, ghost-sensitive children, hapless comedians, mystical babble from holy men, tragic backstories, shoddy CGI, and of course, Sundar C’s stoic heroics battling both goons and ghosts alike.

This time, the narrative revolves around a mother safeguarding her children from a malevolent spirit after her tragic demise at the hands of a demonic entity—baak, from Assamese folklore—morphing into its victims. While this premise could potentially delve into commentary on domestic abuse, subtlety is a foreign concept here.

A noticeable departure lies in the visual aesthetic of the first half, which borrows from the Kannada film Vikrant Rona—a glossy, unnervingly artificial forest. Yet, this deviation swiftly reverts to the chaotic, oversaturated palette and frenetic editing of its predecessors.

In sum, Aranmanai 4 achieves its goals by deluging viewers with kitsch while underwhelming them with its dearth of innovation and originality. It’s predictably forgettable yet mildly diverting entertainment.

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