NIBUNAN (2017)


 
Critic - No.122
                                                                                          
 Director: Arun Vaidyanathan
Casts: Arjun Sarja, Prasanna, Vaibhav, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Shruthi Hariharan
Music: S. Navin
Language: Tamil
Genre: Action / Crime / Thriller

Plot: 
DSP Ranjith (Arjun) and his two subordinates are on a mission to hunt down a psychotic serial killer who murders with complex patterns that leaves a clue for the next.

Review:
It is always a delight when you know that a promising director like Arun is coming back to direct after almost ten years. After his dazzling debut with the universally acclaimed ‘Achchamundu Achchamundu (2008)’, Arun has whipped up an intense crime thriller with Action Arjun. Coincidentally, it’s the veteran actor’s 150th film. Will it be a memorable venture?

The main challenge for Arun as a director is to come up with a fresh police film for an actor like Arjun who has donned countless of iconic police characters in Tamil cinema for the past two decades. In this film, Arun has tapped the lighter vein of the actor by crafting a very laid back, casual and witty police officer that has two friend-like subordinates under him. 

The film’s first murder is introduced quickly and the suspense vehicle sparks off very early in the movie. The main strength of the film is the maze like screenplay that dwells into a complicated, pattern like murder that leaves a clue for the next. It keeps the audience guessing and chokes us with a shocking interval. The film maintains the suspense very well till the end, something we do not see in recent crime thrillers.

However, gripping narration does get watered down by occasional family moments and romantic tracks that could have been weaved with a stronger pay off plan. We don't' feel emotionally threatened at any point. Even though in paper the added flaw to the protagonist sounds unique, that aspect does not affect the story as much as one might expect. Despite making the audience sit at the edge of the seat till the last scene, the contrived, unexpected climax might garner mixed reactions. There are also some extracts and inspirations from the 2008 Noida double murder case.

Arjun looks great with a toned physique and the never dying charisma that drives the entire film. However, ‘Nibunan’ is not a regular Arjun film with exotic stunts and mass moments. The veteran gets into the skin of the flawed protagonist with controlled delivery, stamping his experience in every layer of the story. Prasanna evokes laughter at many parts with his subtle witty one-liners whereas; Varalaxmi proves again that she is a natural performer.

‘Nibunan’ flexes its technical finesse especially in the detailed sound design in the shoot out scenes and the spine chilling BGM by composer Navin in many parts. The theme music is addictive and rings in your ears for long. Cinematographer Arvind Krishna’s mysterious obscure angles do add value to the mystery. 


VERDICT: 
Despite its lags and cinematic liberties, 'Nibunan' grips us instantly with its smart and thoroughly engaging structure, emerging as the strongest comeback vehicle for Arjun in recent years.

CELLULOID METER- 3.25/5: 
 


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