Language: Tamil

Cast: Amzath Khan, Anju Kurian

Director: Bharath Mohan

I blame Vijay Deverakonda for making it fashionable again to write male protagonists with anger issues and a drinking problem. Add a self-destructive streak, a beard and a bike and you have your own DIY Arjun Reddy. It wouldn’t be unfair to call Shiva (Amzath Khan), the protagonist of Igloo, Arjun or even Kabir. After a night of heavy drinking, he drops his girlfriend Ramya back on his bike when it’s pouring. She offers to kiss him goodbye but he demands more. He wants her to dance for him, right in the middle of the road as her father stands there staring. Had Amzath had Vijay Deverakonda’s Bahubali levels of charisma, we’d probably overlook the fact that he’s a dick. We may even get why a woman would be attracted to such a guy. But it’s a task to even notice Amzath when he’s on screen, let alone the shades that make up his character. We’re told that Shiva’s parents died very early. We’re shown that he works as an architect. We notice that he lives alone with his sister and that he retreats to his cigarette packet whenever he is angry. But these bits of his personality come at you like mere information, as though you’re reading notes from the screenplay. He never becomes a person made of flesh and blood. So when he cries, it doesn’t feel like tears, just glycerine.

Now the authenticity of tears wouldn’t have been such a major concern in another movie. But the soul purpose of Igloo is to get us to cry. The conflict of the film revolves around how Ramya has to deal with her pregnancy while also undergoing treatment for cancer. Despite this, the film spends a lot of time sympathising with Shiva’s sadness. In fact it becomes his decision to go ahead with the pregnancy, even when the doctor has advised them against it. And when we’re shown Ramya’s struggles as she deals with her unbearable pain and mood swings, they are followed up with a scene to suggest how well Shiva is taking care of her or to show us how much Shiva has transformed to become the mature, stand-up guy he has now become.

And when the supporting performances are barely passable, that too backed by extremely suggestive and sentimental music, it becomes a difficult film to sit through. Maybe I’m reading it all wrong. Maybe the intention of the film is to create an unapologetic weep-fest for people looking for TV soap like content on the web. But if it’s cinema that it was after, then Igloo just leaves you out in the cold.

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