Erumbu review: A heartwarming tale of hard work and determination

What makes Suresh G's directorial special is the fact that though it is a film about children, it can be enjoyed by adults too.

ByManigandan KR

Published:Aug 10, 2023

A poster of Erumbu
A family entertainer!

Erumbu (Tamil)

  • Cast: Charlie, Monica Siva, George Maryan, Shakthi Rithvik, Susan George, and MS Baskar
  • Direction: Suresh G
  • Producers: Suresh Gunasekaran
  • Music: Arun Raj
  • Runtime: 1 hour 44 minutes

Director Suresh G tells a simple but heartwarming tale of love, hard work and determination in his film Erumbu (Ant).

What makes Erumbu special is the fact that though it is a film about children, it can be enjoyed by adults too. It might be a story about children, but the point it looks to make is by no means childish.

Suresh G tells a very moving tale about two children — a brother and a sister— from a lower-middle-income rural family that is both refreshing and inspiring.


A still from Erumbu

A still from ‘Erumbu’. (Supplied)

Annadurai (Charlie) is a farm labourer who has to slog long and hard to make ends meet.

Annadurai’s family comprises his second wife, Kamalam (Susan George), their just-born son, his two children from his first wife — Pachayamma (Monika Siva) and Muthu (Shakthi Rithvik) — and his elderly mother.

Both Pachayamma and Muthu dread their stepmother Kamalam who has a violent temper.

Like most other villagers, Annadurai, too, is unable to make enough money to run the family and often has to take loans from loan sharks.

He takes a loan from an uncouth money lender named Arumugam (MS Bhaskar). One day, Annadurai suffers humiliation at Arumugam’s hands as he is unable to pay back interest on the loan on time.

Sakthi Riythvik and Monica Siva

Sakthi Riythvik and Monica Siva in ‘Erumbu’. (Supplied)

In a bid to redeem his dignity, Annadurai fights back. This only infuriates Arumugam even more.

He issues an ultimatum that Annadurai will have to repay the entire amount along with interest before the month’s end or he would lock out of the latter’s house.

Determined to pay off Arumugam’s loan at any cost, Annadurai and his wife set off for work.

Annadurai and Kamalam usually take a fortnight to return home if they go out to work, as the sugarcane fields are usually located far from their native place.

During this time, the kids are entrusted to the care of their granny.

At work, Annadurai lists the various options he has to get money to pay off the debt in full. One such source he has in mind is by selling off the only piece of gold they own — a small ring that Kamalam’s brother presented to their infant son.

Also Read: Karnataka government declares ‘Daredevil Musthafa’ tax-free

Lost ring

Even as Annadurai and his wife slog in the fields, back home, his mother takes care of her grandchildren.

One day, her grandson Muthu starts weeping inconsolably, and the old lady, to pacify him, takes out the gold ring from the cupboard and hands it to him.

The child wears the ring and proudly shows it off to his friends. However, he ends up losing it.

When Muthu realises he has lost the gold ring, he is horrified. He trembles in fear at the prospect of having to disclose this to his stepmother.

He weeps and confides in his sister Pachyamma, who comes to his rescue. How she comes to not just his rescue but also to the rescue of her father and family is what Erumbu is all about.


The title Erumbu might seem inappropriate for this film initially. However, when you realise that ants lift weights that are 40 times their body weight, you realise that there couldn’t have been a more fitting title for the movie.

The story is about the industrious nature of responsible young children, who start working fervently to make enough money to support their struggling parents.

Suresh G Erumbu

G Suresh’s ‘Erumbu’. (Supplied)

The characterisation in Erumbu is simply outstanding. Full marks to the director for coming up with characters that are realistic and impactful.

That apart, Erumbu has some really impressive performances to offer, beginning with child actress Monika Siva who plays the silent but strong Pachayamma.

Righteous, patient, hopeful, humble and determined, Pachayamma’s character is inspiring and adorable.

Also Read: Kannada actor-politician BC Patil to venture into Malayalam cinema

Monika Siva delivers a commendable performance as the young child, who overcomes her own fears to offer solace and support to her younger brother.

A still from the Tamil film Erumbu

A still from the Tamil film ‘Erumbu’. (Supplied)

Veteran actor Charlie, who plays the central character of Annadurai in Erumbu, delivers yet another memorable performance in this film.

He comes up with a measured and realistic performance, to bring to life the character of Annadurai.

But it is George Maryan, who plays the character of the simpleton Chittu, who steals the thunder.

George Maryan’s character might not be as significant as that of Pachayamma or Annadurai. But the realistic manner in which the actor plays it and the impeccable timing with which he cracks jokes make his performance one of the highlights of the film.

On the technical front, Arun Raj’s music works big time. Both his songs and his background score are very effective. His songs in particular have high retention value and are bound to catch the attention of audiences.

Final take

Erumbu is not only a story that can inspire kids but is also a clean entertainer that you can watch with your entire family.

(Views expressed are personal.)