| Movies like Naattaamai, Suryavamsam and Natpukkaaga,
where Sarathkumar has played a double role of both father and son, have proven successful for him in the past. He does
this again in Arasu, which has the son avenging the murder of his father. The movie presents the revenge tale
in the style of Rajnikanth's Baasha and is quite entertaining.
Thirunavukkarasu(Sarathkumar), a mild mannered, quiet man, arrives at the agrahaaram in Kumbakonam to take
up the job of handling accounts at the temple. He is helped by the family of Velu Shastri('Delhi' Ganesh) and Velu
Shastri's daughter Meera(Simran) falls for him too. But news of a dangerous rowdy being released from a nearby jail brings out
the real Arasu - a man who is out to take revenge on the men responsible for several atrocities, including the murder of his
parents(Sarathkumar and Roja).
What Baasha was for Rajnikanth, Sarathkumar has hoped that Arasu would be for him.
The movie follows the same storyline as Rajnikanth's superhit. So we have Sarathkumar as a man who keeps away from violence,
with some clues pointing to a violence-soaked past. Post-interval, we get to see the 'real' Sarathkumar along with getting a peek
into his violent past. As in Baasha, the first half is more engrossing, with its romance, comedy and suspense about
Sarath's past. The second half can't help being anti-climactic with its flashback and reason for Sarath's revenge though the
character of Sarath's dad perks us up a bit.
Some nice romance and comedy help in keeping the story moving along initially. Simran falling for Sarathkumar as her wishes,
mentioned casually, come true are depicted naturally as is his reluctance to acknowledge his own feelings. Vadivelu makes us
laugh with his dissatisfaction with his job and his pride and behavior on getting a government job are very funny (the actual job
he takes up is a very clever touch). The scene in the marketplace where Sarath momentarily reveals himself is well-picturised
but his encounter with the rowdy who comes out of jail is extremely bloody and violent.
The flashback presents a memorable character in the form of Sarathkumar's father. While he conveys a commanding presence
while dealing with the bad guys, his discomfort at having nothing to do at home is quite funny. The reason behind Sarath's
current revenge spree is quite ordinary. Back in the present, the scene in the club where he takes care of one of the bad guys is
well-picturised and clever. On the other hand, the climax is pretty lame. It is too quick and seems like a big waste of some good make-up.
Sarath is good both as the mild-mannered Brahmin and the killer yearning for revenge. As usual, he fits the role of the elder man quite
well and succeeds in conveying its power with his mannerisms and voice. Simran slips easily into the role of the Brahmin girl
and the lack of exaggeration in her accent is welcome. Its difficult seeing Roja play Sarathkumar's mother with grayed hair and
the role is inconsequential too. 'Delhi' Ganesh is solid as usual while Saikumar, a Malayalam import, is a rather lame villain.