|Critic - No.126|
Casts: Vishal, Prasanna, Andrea Jeremiah, Vinay
Music: Arrol Corelli
Genre: Action / Crime / Mystery
The eccentric detective Kanniyan Poogundran (Vishal) together with his partner Manohar (Prasanna), investigates a murder of a dog that opens up a hyper linked robbery by a vicious gang.
After giving us solid thrillers like ‘Anjathey (2008)’, ‘Yuddham Sei (2011)’ and ‘Onnayum Aatukuttiyum (2013)’, Mysskin returns to his forte with Thupparivaalan. Though feel inspired by Sherlock Holmes in terms of wardrobe and some story conventions, Mysskin has adapted it to his own style of film making. With a tint of film noir style, Mysskin blends in other international flavours to the story to place his Indianized detective into a James Bond kind of spectacle.
The main strength of the film is the way Kanniyan’s character progresses with the narration. Introduced as an eccentric detective, the audience get to see different shades of him as he deals with various people and situations. He is hot tempered, extremely detailed, hopeless in romance and forever curious to solve challenging concepts. The puzzle like narration keeps the film air tight with no lagging moments – something every rare in Indian cinema nowadays. The way the clues connect to each other is exciting. Even the insipid romance sequences, play out a clue to the higher objective of the story. There are other Mysskin touches such as the odd staging of actors, long takes and visual metaphors that makes this film extra unique to watch.
However, on the flip side, Thupparivaalan lacks the menacing antagonist that might have made the film even more nail biting. Vishal gives a subtle yet refined performance that is very different from his previous works thus far. Other than Vishal’s character, none of the casts make a strong mark in the film. That doesn’t mean that it is a hero centric film but a film that is clue driven than character driven. By the time the motive of the antagonist team is revealed, the audience might have lost the interest to know it. Even though the romance track is used well to bring out Kanniyan’s other shades and gives an emotional backing, it feels a little degrading to women. Being a co-detective, Prasanna as Manohar doesn’t contribute to the case at all and instead used as a second fiddle to show how Kanniyan is extremely smart. Vinay shines with a great comeback while Bhagyaraj’s anticipated role, falls flat. In overall if the characters had deeper emotional backstories, the film would have matched the film maker’s other crime classics.
Arrol Carolli’s background music dominated by violin strings, is used well to support the mysterious proceedings while the theme song is awkwardly placed with just few seconds spilling over occasionally. Karthik Venketraman’s cinematography is exotic and artsy at the same time. Breathtaking realistic stunts by Dinesh supported by meticulous sound eiditng is another highlight of the film.
Mysskin returns to his favourite crime thriller genre and comes up with a decent, engaging product that is intelligent and engaging at parts.
CELLULOID METER- 3.25/5: