Run, where Madhavan clashed with his lover's rowdy brother, was a
terrific entertainer that kicked off the trend of an everyday hero going up against a powerful bad guy.
Padaiyappa, where Rajni went up against a haughty, vindictive woman, was
another good entertainer that thrived on the encounters between Rajni and Ramya. So its a surprise that
Aarya, which is a mix of those 2 films in its setup, fails miserably to entertain us. The weak
screenplay fails to hide the silliness in its basic premise and so the film fails to engage us.
Aarya(Madhavan) moves to Chennai from Coimbatore and joins the final year in a medical college.
Deepika(Bhavana), a first year student in the college, is the uncrowned queen of the college
and is used to having things her way. The reason behind this is that she is the sister of Prakashraj,
a dreaded rowdy who doesn't think twice about killing people standing in his way. But Aarya stands up
to her and after a few clashes, Deepika falls for him and is determined to wed him. But Aarya isn't
interested in her.
Aarya starts off like a younger version of Padaiyappa as Bhavana tries to intimidate
Madhavan and he stands up to her. The clashes between them never rise above a certain level and their
meetings are filled with predictable segments like Bhavana setting rowdies on him. So the sparks between
them are rather feeble. Also, keeping in mind the movie's hero-centric nature(after all, it is named after
the hero!) and the lack of another heroine, it is pretty certain how things will turn out. But inspite of
this predictability, the change in Bhavana's feelings is too abrupt. We aren't sure why or even when
her feelings go from hate to love.
With Bhavana insisting on marrying Madhavan and he turning her down since her brother is a rowdy,
there is one very obvious, logical course of action for Prakashraj. But the movie doesn't make him
take that. Prakashraj's idea to make Bhavana's wish come true is so silly that the rest of the
film becomes a huge joke. As he tries to draw Madhavan into a fight and Madhavan tries to avoid it,
the director paints himself into a corner with no way out and so the movie becomes very repetitive and
The movie does a couple of things right towards the end as it answers some open questions from before
and provides closure on some items. It doesn't explain everything but it atleast it gives some meaning
to the proceedings so far. But the seriousness is only in the story track and not the way it is handled.
Even the jail where the climax is set looks artificial and unrealistic and the nature of the proceedings
matches the setting.
Madhavan looks a bit too chubby to be too convincing in the action sequences(just like
Thambi, he has a karate fight sequence here too) but he fares pretty
well in the confrontations with both Prakashraj and Bhavana. Bhavana looks too sweet to play the mean
one but she manages to pull it off convincingly. The rowdy role isn't anything new for Prakashraj.
Vadivelu has a comedy track as a beggar who manages to rise to a position of importance. It is
thoroughly unfunny and frequently crude. A couple of sequences where he is the receiving end of abuse,
both physical and verbal, from Madhavan and Bhavana lead to some laughs but the segments that elicit
groans far outnumber these.