If there was an award for the most engaging filmmaker, Jeethu Joseph would definitely be in the race for it. This man makes his movies an investigating affair that it’s highly unlikely you’ll lose track of what’s happening during the course of the film. There must’ve been a lot of planning and re-iterating the screenplay to keep the audience on the hook at all times. Idiosyncratic with his films, there’s a lot of tension build-up from the first shot of the movie- An aerial shot which focuses on four Lorries parked perpendicular to each other with their headlights on. Only as you give some time for the shot to establish itself would you know the elements of the shot.
Just like his screenplays, you need give some time for everything to fall in place and take a backseat before the director launches you into a whirlwind of emotions and twists (for the lack of a better word).
All this throat-clearing is a positive testimony to this film which has you by its claw till the very last scene. I’ve watched a few thrillers but never have I heard the audience cheering and clapping for the twists. The second half of the film is such a beautiful gift to the whodunit genre that it is impossible to believe that Jeethu Joseph was the same person who directed, The Body.
Vicky (essayed by the ever-charming Karthi) is a tourist guide and fraudster in Goa who cheats foreigners by playing sentimental tricks to extract money from them. Due to a sudden turn of events, he is made to act as the son of a politician (Sathyaraj) who is based out of Mettupalayam (A quaint city north of Coimbatore). His original son ran away from home 15 years back and Vicky is here to act like him for some time and run away with assets of his new-found family. Jyotika plays Parvati, who is the elder sister and she’s the first person to be skeptical of Vicky being her original brother who ran away.
This is what you will believe when you’re 20 minutes into the movie. The foundation is laid so well that you wouldn’t anticipate a MAJOR turn in events but it happens in a very slick manner. In the end, you will see that Vicky is getting cheated by his new-found family. That’s the best I could come up with without giving away any spoiler. How does an expert fraudster get cheated by an aristocratic family makes up for the rest of the story.
The interval block is one of the best in recent times. Before the interval, you root for Satyaraj’s character and share his feelings of not having a son. This feeling would remain with you solely because of his acting and few scenes in the first half. When you take a break during the interval, you would believe that his character is one of the shrewdest ones in recent times. The scene just before the interval brings in so much substance and unpredictability in this film. The interval is just the beginning of all the good things in the film.
The first half is filled with comedy sequences (which are not forced) with Karthi trying to prove to everyone that he is the person who ran away from the house 15 years ago. They bring in the much-needed break from the tension-filled sequences in the first half.
Shri. Sowcar Janaki plays a very crucial role in her own subtle way. She plays the grandmother of Jyotika who is a deaf-mute. Her sequences with Karthi are funny and it’s always a treat to watch an octogenarian-veteran emoting with such ease and nonchalance.
The supporting actors play their part well and don’t engage in diluting the essence of the story. Every character has a solid role here and they’ve played it to perfection. Though the female lead (Nikhila Vimal) doesn’t have that big of a part to play, it doesn’t hamper with the engagement quotient of the film. Master Ashwanth (Raasukutty of Super Deluxe fame) is a treat to watch and has somehow mastered the art of timing his dialogues to evoke laughter and increase his adorability with the audience.
The three songs are neither catchy nor filled with meaningful montages to take the storyline forward. Even though they aren’t excessively glamorous, these songs should’ve been weeded out at the editing table. I dare say that this is the only drawback of the film. If you like engaging stories with an equally strong screenplay, to watch this film is a no-brainer.