Sizing up Aranmanai 4 

by Trailerman Sam (

Aranmanai 4 (Palace 4) is a 2024 Tamil language comedy-horror film directed by Sundar. C, who co-wrote the film with Venkatt Ragavan and S.B. Ramadass. It’s actually the fourth instalment of the same film series.

Produced by Khushbu Sundar’s Avni Cinemax and A. C. S.Arun Kumar’s Benzz Media (P) Ltd, its leading cast include Sundar. C himself together with Tamannaah Bhatia, Raashii Khanna, Santhosh Prathap, Ramachandra Raju, Kovai Sarala and Yogi Babu.

Music was by Hip-hop Tamizha while E. Krishnasamy and Fenny Oliver handled the cinematography and editing, respectively.

Thanks to an engaging plot headlined by Tamannaah Bhatia, Sundar. C makes a much-needed comeback to the franchise.

The plot of Aranmanai 4 is totally different as it’s not just about  revenge based on some spirit or jinn. The movie revolves around the Assamese folklore of Baak, a soul-grabbing, shape-shifting ghost. Therefore, we’d often see lost souls never resting in peace.

The film starts with a priest and his daughter travelling by boat to a temple during a festival. When the daughter is injured and her blood spills into the river, it releases Baak, a shape shifting demon.

Baak then kills the daughter and assumes her form. When Baak targets the family of Selvi (Tamannaah Bhatia)resulting in a few more deaths, it’s up to Selvi’s brother Saravanan (Sundar C) to solve the mystery and bring peace to the village and family. He is duty-bound to restore the balance by avenging the departed souls and safeguarding the living. 

With much suspicions surrounding the demise of his kin, he decides to uncover the truth, thus setting off a chasm of chaos and terror.

Designated under the horror-comedy genre, its humour was rather incompetent. As expected, Sundar C’s character is the one who usually does the heavy lifting

Tamannaah Bhatia overwhelmingly tries to shoulder the film. She publicly admitted that she honestly felt that she couldn’t play Selvi’s role at first because of her lack of maternal instincts as she put it. Her Selvi character is arguably the most unambiguous character the world of Aranmanai had seen.

The film’s core supernatural plot proves to be genuinely exciting. While it succeeds in cultivating the chills, it stumbles on humour.

The comedic segments feel forced and outdated, failing to live up to the rest of the film’s technical elements and strong acting. Yogi Babu’s slapstick comedy is getting extremely old-fashioned except for a few chuckles here and there.

He ought to learn from the famous Nagesh, another Indian actor and comedian, who’s mostly remembered for his comic roles in Tamil films in the 1960s. It’s said that Nagesh would always end a funny dialogue by even throwing in a few of his own words, which seemed to pop out naturally from his mouth. What’s even more intriguing is that his trademark witty lines were never repeated in another movie. Original gems from the past!

At times when the movie deviates from the main plot, it does pull your attention away to make your mind wander and wonder what’s for dinner.

No doubt the serious scenes where the ghost throws people around or the hilarious moments when some characters get electrocuted do getour attention and  quality air time/

However, something sticks out like a sore thumb like when some of the content does ape some aspects of the Western superhero films. In one scene, when the apparition transforms into a venomous creature, it feels like it came from Doctor Strange.

The final action showdown also reminds one of the scaffolding fight scenes from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings!

The fact that the film’s most hilarious scene features the Avengers theme music says a lot about how subtle (or the lack of it) were the aspirations of the people behind the movie.

With a run time of 147 minutes, Aranmanai 4 delivers an acceptable level of visual thrills alongside a soul-stirring climate. The film’s special effects are splendid with the BGM conscientiously amplifying moments of suspense.

As for the cinematography, it could add some layer of depth for a more immersive experience.

Overall, Aranmanai 4 offers a worthwhile watch for fans of the horror-comedy genre, who prioritise visual appeal and a spooky ambience. Just be prepared for some jokes that fall a bit flat.

A cameo from two of Tamil cinema’s best dancers was perhaps the icing on the cake. Another best was an Amman song added to infuse some goosebumps moments.

The million-dollar question is: will there be an Aranmanai 5? Maybe Sundar.C should consider our very own Kellie’s Castle in Batu Gajah with its spooky tales for his next outing.