Category Archives: Crime

Andhadhun Review

Andhadhun Review – Andhadhun is an Indian crime thriller released in 2018. Aakash a pianist who pretends to be blind witnesses the murder of a famous film star, what unfolds next is the plot of Andhadhun.

Director Sriram Raghavan has sketched yet another gripping dark tale with suspense weaved in, that makes it an interesting watch. The story starts with the narration of the protagonist about the events that had happened in the past. Sriram has teased with the usual twists in a typical thriller much ahead in the movie giving you the sense of wondering is what is left. As you begin to wonder what would be left, the movie takes unexpected turns and goes deep down a rabbit hole of complex knots, that makes it more interesting. Ayushman Khuranna and Tabu play a pivotal role in the movie. Tabu has played a badass character with so much ease. The entire sequence at the house of Ayushman Khuranna is one of the brilliantly scripted scenes in the movie. The script reveals the truth at the right moments of time leading to a very engaging climax.

The movie opens with thanking Chitra Geet and Chitra Haar for entertaining us for a long time and ends with the great piano sequences from yesteryear bollywood movie. The music from Amit Trivedi stays up in the game and forms the soul of the movie.

High Points: The script is the strength of the movie, the performances of Tabu and Ayushman Khurana stand out very well, the art design of the locations add to the aesthetic flair of the movie. The background score and songs of Amit Trivedi lightens up even a dull scene.

Low Points: The only weak point of the script is Radhika Apte’s character. It is too shallow and forms too irrelevant for the plot to move forward. 

Overall Andhadhun is a very gripping dark crime thriller that would entertain you. It may not be the movie of epic scale but still would join the list of well written and made dark crime thrillers in Bollywood. This is now available on Netflix.

Worth a Watch

The Invisible Guest Review

The Invisible Guest Review – The Invisible Guest is a Spanish Crime Thriller released in 2016. A Spanish businessman Adrian is arrested for a murder in a hotel room. With all the doors locked and no way to leave the room, nails him as the culprit. But could there have been an invisible guest who could have left the room without a trace?

A good thriller is the one that always thinks ahead of the audience and does not fall into the cliches of McGuffins that had been tried and tested in many thrillers. The Invisible Guest is one such movie that keeps you guessing till the end. Just when you think that you have figured out the plot, the movie takes a different turn, adds an additional knot making the plot complex. In the end, the knot is removed very convincingly.

The tone of the movie is very gritty from the start, with constant gloomy atmosphere reflecting the gloominess in the unsolved mystery. The screenplay is structured brilliantly to removed the monotonous linear narration. It keeps jumping back and forth in the timeline to keep the interest going. Mario Casas has very well fit into the role of Adrian.

High Points: Very gripping screenplay, very convincing end, brilliant performances by the lead actors, cleverly structured non-linear narration.

Low Points: Hardly any low point

Overall, The Invisible Guest has all the ingredients required in a gritty thriller that keeps you guessing till the end. The movie is available on Netflix.

Must Watch

Kaala Review

Kaala Review – Kaala is a Tamil crime drama released in 2018. Mumbai’s politician Hari Dhada has hidden agenda of cleaning up Mumbai’s Dharavi to let it open for commercialization, but people of Dharavi protest against it under the leadership of local don Karikaalan.

I was disappointed with the second half of Kabali wherein I felt director Ranjith had a masterpiece in the making but fell flat in the second half. This time in Kaala the screenplay is much tighter and travels towards the purpose. The screenplay also provided a much larger scope for the mass moments of Rajini. Be it the swag of the black dress and shades, not being able to hide his lost love or getting drunk and blabbering in the police station, its out and out Rajini’s moments. He makes all these scenes very enjoyable.

Kaala has a very similar structure to his previous movie Madras. The movie jumps right into the core problem and how the voice of people is not heard in the massive political schemes which are supposed to be for the people. Apart from Rajini the biggest strength of the movie is Nana Patekar. He has played the unapologetic, gruesome villain with ease. His acting and body language are exemplary.

The screenplay does come with its own flaws. The character of Huma Qureshi is very weak and one dimensional. There was a much larger scope for the character but again the writers seem to have struggled with it as they did for Radhika Apte’s character in the second half of Kabali.  The rapper group is becoming a very predictable part for Ranjith’s film which again could have been avoided.

Samuthrakani has played a very good supporting role. It is refreshing to see him explore different roles other than being typecast into roles that shout out social messages. Eswari Rao makes a good pair to Rajini. She has a lot of scope in the first half and the way her character has been sketched is very nice. It is also refreshing to see Dileepan playing a significant role after Vathikuchi.

The subtext of the movie is about the perception people carry regarding the slums. Ranjith has questioned the stereotypes. If we talk about Dharavi or the North Madras slum, we remember movies like Nayagan, Thalapathy, Pudupettai which stereotypes the areas as the hub of crime. Pa Ranjith’s Kaala paints the picture of more life and family values in the slum, unlike the popular stereotypes.

High Points: Rajini’s charisma and screen presence, Nana Patekar’s acting, Mass moments of Rajini and Nana Patekar, a very compelling subtext of the movie, the climax sequence, brilliant cinematography, editing and art design to recreate Dharavi.

Low Points: Huma Qureshi’s character build-up, too much violence in the second half might upset many audiences, some components that are becoming too predictable in a Pa Ranjith’s movie.

Overall Kaala is a compelling tale about the slums beyond our perceptions and beliefs. Pa Ranjith is very sincere in what he believes and has the ability to narrate it in a compelling way. Ram killed Raavan and established Ram Rajya for making people’s lives better, but is that what the people wanted is essentially the question the movie asks. If you like crime dramas then do watch this one in the theaters.

Must Watch

Raid Review

Raid Review – Raid is a Hindi crime thriller released in 2018. Amey Patnaik is an honest IRS officer, he conducts an IT raid in a powerful MP Rameshwar Singh, which ends up being one of the longest raids in the history.

This is based on true events that had occurred in the early 80s. The movie is gripping right from the first scene. Ajay Devgan shines well in the role of the IRS officer who is fearless and honest. The movie is precise and to the point. There is no unnecessary introduction build up, a song to please the fanfare, nor does he remove the shirt to show his muscle power. Rather a simple incident of not been able to enter the party due to dress code and how he adheres to the rules establishes the character well and the movie jumps right into thick of things.

A lot of research seems to have gone into the actual process of a raid. The moment the door of the MP is knocked on the wee hours of the morning, the pace of the movie picks up and gets engaging. The swag of Ajay Devgan at times of conflict is subtle yet powerful. Ileana although having limited scope, yet her character brings in the emotional connection to the story. Saurabh Shukla is a brilliant choice for the role of the MP. He has played the part of a very cunning, menacing MP very well. The end climax is a bit dramatic which seems to have been done for the commercial success of the movie. But nevertheless, it is enjoyable.

High Points: Gripping Screenplay, Ajay Devgan’s performance, Saurabh Shukla’s performance

Low Points: an Overdramatic climax

Overall, It is a very gripping IT raid that will hold you in your seat till the end. Do watch it in theaters.

Must Watch

 

 

Theeran Adhigaram Ondru Review

Theeran Adhigaram Ondru Review – Theeran Adhigaram Ondru is a Tamil crime thriller released in 2017. The movie is based on a true story where a cop and his team has to solve the mystery of people getting attacked and killed at their home for jewels and money.

Director H Vinoth comes up with yet another compelling tale after his Sathuranga Vettai.  I loved Sathuranga Vettai very much for its dialogues and screenplay. So naturally, I had expectations around Theeran.  Vinoth did not disappoint at all. It is a very racy thriller right from the word go. Karthi has essayed the character of Theeran very well and is a strong backbone for the movie. Bose Venkat has ably supported him throughout the movie. Vinoth has cleverly mixed some of the commercial elements into the movie without much adulterating the compelling tale. Abhimanyu Singh as Oma has performed very well as the villain. The scenes involving him certainly send some shivers down the spine.

The amount of research done by Vinoth is evidently visible. Right from the police training scene to the history animation he has given much attention to the details. The love portion involving Rakul Preet Singh and Karthi is interesting too and blends in well with the theme of the story. Wish our commercial film directors do this instead of bolting on romance and comedy scenes to the movie.

High Points: A well-researched plot, engaging screenplay, location selection, performances of Karthi and Abhimanyu Singh.

Low Points: There are certain scenes made over dramatic in the second half which seem to be touching the border of going overboard. But these scenes do not become a huge distraction.

Overall Theeran is a well researched and an engaging cop thriller based on true events. Vinoth has yet again struck with an engaging drama that keeps the audience entertained with some power-packed performances.

Must Watch

Kurangu Bommai Review

Kurangu Bommai Review

Kurangu Bommai is a Tamil Thriller film released in 2017.  A simple and straightforward person Sundaram works in the timber shop of a goon in Tanjore. Despite the displeasure of his family and society, he is very loyal to him. When he is entrusted with a work of transporting a high cost smuggled statue, it leads to unexpected events.

High Points:

Nithilan has created a very compelling thriller in Kurangu Bommai. Right from the time the knot is made the movie holds you to the seat barring the love portion which seemed very detached from the movie slowing down its pace badly. The non-linear narration style of the movie has worked out very well that keeps the audience glued much earlier. The choice of the cast is a very interesting one and it has worked very well for the movie. Bharadhiraja’s performance is a standout. Viddharth yet again has chosen a very good script.  The character of Elango Kumaravel is a very interesting one in the movie. Things get dark once his character is introduced and he has played in very convincingly which is in a very much contrast to the comedy portions he usually plays in Radha Mohan movies. The movie’s duration is less than 2 hours which makes it crisp and interesting.

Low Points:

Having said this there are certain loose ends to the script that did not connect well. The love portion and the duet portion although taken well did not fit well into the tale. As they don’t help the movie in moving forward.  The police station sequence was a bit overboard for the nature of the script. For folks looking for a Neram kind of climax, there will be a disappointment.

Overall Kurangu Bommai is a very interesting Dark Thriller. If you are a fan of thrillers do watch this one for sure. Kudos to Nithilan and team for making a good thriller.

Worth a Watch

Vikram Vedha Review

Vikram Vedha Review – Vikram Vedha is a Tamil Neo Noir film directed by the duo Pushkar and Gayathri. The film released in 2017. The plot is akin to the folklore tales of Vikram and Vethal where Vikram was a righteous king who set out to the deep dungeons to capture Vethal. Vethal kept telling him tales where the lines of right vs wrong were blurred. In the end, the Vethal asked a riddle as to what is the right thing to do. Once Vikram answered it escaped. The movie starts with the animated version of this and the story has the same theme with a police officer and an encounter specialist Vikram after a deadly gangster Vedha.

Madhavan plays the role of the encounter specialist Vikram and  Vijay Sethupathi plays the role of Vedha. The plot is definitely a very interesting one that can keep you glued to the seats. Vijay Sethupathi has literally rocked the show in his role as Vedha. From a characterization perspective, this is written strongly as well and has a good character arc. Madhavan too has equally performed well in bringing out the demeanor of an encounter specialist.  The movie starts with what appears to be a casual outing for the police team and ends in a deadly encounter mission.  Very nicely done and it sets up the tone of the movie and establishes Madhavan’s character very well. Even before Vedha appears on the screen there are tales about him which establishes him as a deadly demon. And when he appears it stays up to the expectation. When he narrates the first story it is quite gripping and the twist of his escape from the situation is also well planted. The movie had been extraordinary till this point.

Post this there are more occasions he narrates the story to Vikram but quite unsure as to why Vikram listens to it patiently. He is shown to be a cop who doesn’t take even seconds to leave the bad people alive. Why does he have to listen to Vedha is still a question. When Vedha knows he would escape from the situation why does he have to tell a story to Vikram is also not established well. We did not know why Vethal told stories to Vikram as well isn’t it. That’s the only analogy I could draw for this.

Shraddha Srinath and Varalakshmi’s roles help in moving the story forward.

High Points: Vikram and Vethal as a plot device, Vijay Sethupathi and Madhavan’s performance, The initial story narrated by Vedha, The background score, and cinematography.

Low Points: The screenplay has many loop holes in the second half and it is hard to reason out why Vikram’s and Vedha’s behavior changes.

Overall Vikram Vedha is a Flamboyant and stylish encounter that would make you whistle at many moments. If you are able to ignore the loops holes in the screenplay you would enjoy this very much.

Worth a Watch