'Aaro': Joju George, Anumol-starrer fails to take off, thanks to old-school treatment

Anumol and Joju George play prominent roles in the film. Photos | Trailer

'Aaro', starring Joju George and Anumol in the lead, takes you through the streets of Thrissur, constantly reminding us of the city's beauty and soul. After all, Thrissur has a certain charm to it, thanks to its slang, free-flowing dialogues, and the perky characters. 'Aaro' too rides on this charm and delivers a decent first half, introducing us to various nuances of the town and its people.
Anumol plays Thamara, a single mother who sells flowers in the Sree Vadakkumnathan Temple compound for her livelihood. She boldly stands up against the men in her colony who never miss a chance to harass her. Her son Shiva is independent and kind, though he runs into trouble with the police often for his involvement in petty theft cases.
Despite the interesting setting, what ails 'Aaro' directed by debutant Kareem, is its weak writing and execution. Though the makers try to create some intrigue in the first half by focusing on a stranger Murugan (Kichu Tellus) who tries to reach out to Thamara, the film does not offer anything new or interesting in the second half. The makers also try to introduce a twist at the climax, but it fails to create an impression on the audience, especially due to its old-school treatment.

Director Kareem, who has also co-written the story along with Rasheed Parakkal, seems to be a fan of Mammootty, throwing in references from the veteran actor's previous films, including the 2010 film 'Pranchiyettan and the Saint'. Kalabhavan Navas, who plays a hopeless lover in the movie, serves as a spoof character and is often spotted wearing Mammootty T-shirts.

Joju George plays a police officer in the film, though he does not have a full-fledged role. He is a constant presence in the town, gaining the people's trust through his soft demeanor. Though his character is extremely under-written, it is still a joy to watch the actor onscreen, given the intensity with which he portrays his character. Joju has essayed cop roles multiple times, but he still retains freshness in all his cop characters.
Anumol, who has often portrayed female-centric characters in films like 'Padmini' and 'Rockstar', pulls off Thamara well. Jayaraj Warrier, Sunil Sukhada, Kichu Tellus, Sudheer Karamana also did justice to their roles, though it is the young boy who played Anumol's son who stood out for his performance. The songs by Bijibal don't make much impact on the film, which is largely story-driven.

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