â€œHaridasâ€ is one of those rare Tamil films that come and go once in a blue moon. In an industry of hero-worshipping scripts and brainless comedies, this film not only leaves everybody emotionally touched but also proves that audiences welcome quality films if given an opportunity. The film boasts a very simple storyline that revolves around a sensitive relationship between a father and his autistic son. One might feel heavy and tear jerked as the credits toll down but it seems appropriate once in a while to shed few tears.
When the only guardian of Haridas, an eight-year old boy, kicks the bucket, it's the responsibility of the father, Sivadas, to bring back his autistic son into his life. A righteous and highly dedicated cop that he is, Sivadas, decides to take a sabbatical from work even as he's inching closer to nab a local rowdy named Aadhi. In his new chosen role as father, Sivadas spends almost every minute with his son hoping he would get to understand him better.
As suggested by a doctor, he even enrolls his son into a school for normal kids and lives with the hope that his son is special. With time, Sivadas learns about what his son desires in life and in turn helps him realize his dreams. How did a doting father help his autistic son realize his dreams? This forms the rest of the story.
The opening scene in the film is top notch. Here, we're introduced to the ruthless, duty-loving cop, Sivadas, on a mission to hunt down Ramana, close aid of Aadhi. This particular scene, within few minutes, introduces us to almost all the characters in the film. Cut to next scene, Sivadas is all set to take custody of his son as a train of thoughts wander in his head - how am I possibly going to take care of a child with such disability. However, what was initially portrayed as a thought, doesn't get reproduced on screen because Sivadas believes his son is special. This initial build up of the plot is brilliant and very effective.
The director doesn't tamper the reputation of his characters not even for a single minute. Each and every character in the film has a purpose and a meaningful screen presence. For instance, even when on a sabbatical, Sivadas is constantly in touch with his associates to understand the development in the hunt for Aadhi. The brilliance with which the director has made Kishore, who plays Sivadas, strike a balance between call of duty and fatherhood deserves sincere appreciation. As emotional as it is, mostly, â€œHaridasâ€, sporadically engages an audience with suspense.
Undoubtedly, nobody else apart from Kishore could've possibly played this role effectively. This role is proof to the caliber of the actor and how he has gradually grown as an actor over the years - from a villain to character roles and even essaying hero portions. Sneha's impresses in her first film post-wedding. Far different from roles she's portrayed in the past, this particular roles brings to the fore her acting prowess.
If I were to highlight some flaws in the film then the pace of the narration and the climax come to my instantly. People may not even mind the pace of the film as most of them would've emotionally engrossed in the film, but the climax on the other hand, is sure to draw mixed responses and may or may not very well work in the favour of the film.
Technically, Rathnavelu with the camera shines while the rest of the departments put up a satisfying work. â€œHaridasâ€ is far better than several run-of-the-mill type Tamil films.