Armugan

Armugan is, as the subtitle suggests, an end-of-life doula, ushering the dying on their final journey. Learning from him is his apprentice Anchel.

This film has stunning cinematography. It is used to convey the awe with which Armugan regards life, from the fantastic vistas down to the smallest detail.

There is no dialogue for a large part of the film’s opening, and then it is sparse and whispered. Shot in black and white, it is textbook arthouse moves. Whether for you this creates atmosphere or makes you lose patience, I imagine will differ from viewer to viewer.

Armugan helps comfort the dying and ease their passing with Anchel’s help, until one night a desperate mother comes to their door asking for help with her terminally ill and suffering son. Armugan and Anchel are divided on how to proceed.

I’ll be honest, I kinda lost my patience with this. I didn’t feel it had anything interesting to say on the subject of death, certainly nothing that warranted its expansive silences and emptiness. It pays for all its flaws with gorgeous cinematography, but excelling in that one regard couldn’t quite distract me from the aimlessness I felt the film had.

Beautiful to look at, but thin on everything else.

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