Verdict: Aamis handles a heavy subject with a delectable flavor.
It’s not often one gets to see a love story coupled with gore. Bhaskar Hazariya’s Aamis (or Ravening) introduces its viewers to a unique romance where lust plays a vital role despite the lack of physical touch. Aamis translates to “non-veg” in English, which is the central theme of the film. The drama gives us a look into meat dishes and eating practices in north-eastern India, which might be considered strange in other parts of the country. Yet, even for a “pure vegetarian” soul, this movie offers a delectable watch with its tender treatment.
What’s Aamis About:
A young Ph.D. student named Sumon (Arghadeep Baruah) calls upon the neighborhood pediatrician Dr. Nirmali (Lima Das) when his friend falls terribly ill. Despite having the day off, Nirmali visits the house, only to realize that her patient is suffering from indigestion. Sumon confesses that his friend is a vegetarian who was tempted to eat meat and gave in to gluttony. Sumon himself is a member of a self-made “Meat Club”, which includes a group of students like him who source their own meat and cook it themselves for optimum flavor and hygiene. Intrigued by the idea, Nirmali asks Sumon to give her a taste of whatever he cooks next. Soon after, they start exchanging food preparations and Nirmali is besotted with Sumon’s unusual dishes, be it wild rabbits, bats, or catfish with colocasia. But her desire for meat reaches unimaginable lengths and her bloodlust seems incurable.
Aamis begins with a hint of sweet yet forbidden romance. As a married woman and a mother, Nirmali finds it hard to come to terms with her feelings for the much-younger Sumon. Sumon also finds himself obsessed with Nirmali, even giving up professional opportunities only to spend more time with her. As their relationship progresses, the duo is still aware of how they cannot give in to their physical attraction. Hence, they express their feelings with the food they cook for each other. But their sweet forbidden romance suddenly turns very dark and gory, culminating into a perfect climax that has never been seen in Indian cinema before. You are shaken by the turns the movie takes, despite there being hints of it throughout the film. In the very beginning, Nirmali mentions how meat is not the problem, gluttony is. Sumon also says how the definition of ‘normal’ isn’t universal. These are two of the most poignant dialogues in the film, that pretty much sum up what it’s trying to portray.
In terms of acting, Lima Das and Arghadeep Baruah make remarkable debuts. While the former uses her age and grace (which comes from her background in dancing) to show a sense of wisdom, Bhaskar Hazariya manages to manipulate Baruah’s sweet smile to show the innocence in his character, a quality that makes the climax scene even more petrifying. Quan Bay’s soothing score mainly serves to keep the mood light throughout the film, making the final scene even more impactful.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Aamis might not be palatable for all kinds of audiences. Even though the filmmaker has smartly avoided the use of controversial meat like beef or pork, certain kinds of food preparations might have a repelling effect on vegetarian audiences. Adding to this is the gory climax that might leave you sick to the stomach by the end of the film.
Why You Should Watch:
Even with its unabashed use of meat and hard-hitting climax, Aamis is made beautifully for all kinds of audiences. It tries to hide its gore factor under the premise of a sweet love story that goes too far for its own good. It reflects the downside of repressed love while also giving us a taste of a culture without making it seem exotic or abnormal. Watch it to witness a story unlike anything you’ve seen before.