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.
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.
Maanagaram Review – Maanagaram is a Tamil thriller released in 2017. The movie plot revolves around events that happen around Chennai on two nights where the incidents affect people who were strangers to each other till then.
Director Lokesh Kangaraj has created a well-knitted screenplay in his first full-length feature film Maanagaram. His short film Kalam in the anthology of shorts released under the name of Aviyal had been interested in how situations create difficulties and situations make it easy when unexpected. Maangaram follows the same pattern on a bigger scale. The lives of a Don, a police officer, a jobless youth stalking his love, HR manager, a new employee, a taxi driver, small-time kidnappers and school boy cross each other on a fateful night in Chennai. The knots get more complicated as the movie progresses and it makes the proceedings very gritty. The screenplay is engaging right from the word go.
The screenplay is engaging right from the word go. The eerie and uneasiness of a big city is created very well by the director in the first few scenes. When you start hating the city there is this dialogue “People would complain and speak wrong things about this city, but they would never leave it” He has created a very nice character to the city itself. Although it is dark it is very enjoyable. The performances of the lead characters help in moving the story ahead. There is also dark humor in the scenes where Ramdoss comes in. In particular, the episode of him walking into the school to kidnap a boy is hilarious.
High Points: A gripping screenplay, performances of the lead actors, dark humor. No songs which could have otherwise slowed down the pace.
Low Points: Due to the genre this may not appeal to folks who expect a linear tale with one protagonist.
Overall Maanagaram is an excellent first movie from Lokesh Kanagaraj. If you love dark action thrillers, don’t miss this one.
Worth a Watch
Seven Days Review – Seven Days is a South Korean crime thriller movie released in 2007. Yoo Ji-yeon is a successful lawyer. Her daughter is kidnapped and she has to win a case to release a convict with death sentence for a murder to save her daughter.
The movie is very slick and engaging throughout. The suspense of the plot is maintained throughout and keeps you guessing on what is going to happen next. Yunjin Kim has performed her role very well. She comes across very convincingly for a lawyer and a mother trying to save her daughter. The scene in which she is interacting with the criminal with utmost confidence and the scene in which she breaks down for her daughter there is a sharp contrast and powerful.
The script keeps building up well and knots tighten as they try to break it. In the end everything falls in place. The movie has a strong take on the moral values and the conflict between moral values versus the selfish benefit for one’s own family.
High Points: The script is very thrilling and engaging throughout, Yunjin Kim’s performance, suspense maintained throughout the movie.
Low Points: Not many for this movie.
This movie is remade in Bollywood as Jazbaa featuring Aishwarya Rai and Irrfan Khan. From the trailer it seems to be neatly done, maintaining some of the core essence of the movie. It definitely promises to be a good movie and has a very promising cast for the roles that had been in the original.
Overall Seven Days is a treat for crime thriller fans and it does go beyond dealing with emotional dilemma of ethics. If you love crime thrillers, this one is a must watch for you. This one has some explicit violence scenes and viewers discretion is required.
Perfect Proposal Trailer – Perfect Proposal is a Korean Crime Thriller to be released on 12-Jun-2015 in CGV Cinemas, Los Angeles. The movie is produced by CJ Entertainment who had produced some of the blockbuster Korean movies like the Joint Security Area.
If you are fan of crime thriller movies and living in and around Los Angeles then you have the opportunity of watching this movie this weekend! The movie is in Korean language with English subtitles.
While running a travel agency in Macau, Ji-yeon is ripped off by her business partner. One day, the attractive and benevolent Sung-yeol gives her an irresistible offer: $5,000 monthly
salary to live on a luxurious yacht and assist the chairman of Cenado, a prominent shipping and casino operator company. Without another option to fall back on, she complies and nurses the ailing chairman, who is impossible to deal with. Ji-yeon slowly gains the attention of both Sung-yeol and the chairman, and wavers between an opportunity that will secure her future and love. As tension rises among these figures on the yacht, no one can predict its outcome.
Watch the trailer of the movie here.
The movie is releasing in CGV Cinemas in Los Angels this weekend (12-Jun-2015). Go ahead and book your tickets and share your views in the comments section.
Yennai Arindhaal Review – Yennai Arindhaal is a Tamil crime thriller released in 2015. Thenmozhi a quality lead in a software company on her flight back to India meets a handsome man Satyadev and develops interest in him. Once she reaches India she tries to meet him without being aware of the danger lurking over her.
Director Gautham Vasudev Menon has gone back to handling cop story and he says this one completes his cop film trilogy. There has been a huge expectation surrounding the movie particularly Ajith getting on the project and also the director’s previous cop movie outings with Kaakha Kaakha and Vetaiyaadu Vilayadu being successful ones. The final output has turned out to be a crime drama rather than a cop story. This one would be rated the least compared to the previous two movies. The movie’s script misses establishing of the core conflict strongly. The movie rides on the ego clash between the two characters which doesn’t occur for major part of the movie. Also there are certain elements of Gautham menon’s cop stories that repeat here as well.
Ajith looks very smart and fits into the character very well. Arun Vijay’s has a great scope and this performance is his best performance so far. The action sequences in the movie have been done well. Vivek’s comedy sequences has worked well. Anushka has a very limited scope. Trisha steals the attention in the scenes which she appears.
High Points – Ajith’s star value, Not falling into the trap of creating mass introduction scene for Ajith, Ajith’s performance, Arun Vijay’s performance, Action sequences, Vivek’s comedy, Trisha’s visual appeal
Low Points – Weak conflict in the movie, too many loop holes in the plot, Only Ajith seems to be the able police officer who carries guns but none of the others seem to be and also they wait for Ajith to do the action which seems so unreal
Overall as Ajith says there is a thin line between the good and the bad… Yennai Arindhaal has just managed to walk on the thin line without getting on either side. So depends upon which side of the line you are seeing it from you might enjoy or hate the movie.
Watchable – only for crime thriller fans
Nee Naan Nizhal Review – Nee Naan Nizhal is a Tamil crime thriller released in 2014. A serial killing of five Indian origin people in Malaysia starts of a investigation by the Malaysian police. The five murdered individuals do not have anything in common but for a common facebook friend.
The movie definitely has a strong plot and an underlying social message around cyber-crime. This is the first movie for director John Robinson and kudos to him for taking up a good plot. The first half of the movie is very sluggish. The songs could have been avoided as they slow down the pace of the movie. The entire Coimbatore episode surrounding the five friends seems out of place for the movie. The forced comedy sequences involving MS Bhaskar does not make you laugh. The director could have used this time and space to increase the complexity of the knot. For any investigative thriller to be very effective it is very important to build knots and making the case look unsolvable leading up to the climax where the knot is removed and the surprise is revealed. Nee Naan Nizhal has missed out on this despite having a great potential for a gripping thriller. The story picks up from the interval block. Sarathkumar and Manoj K Jayan are good choice for the supporting roles. Again building on their characterization would have made it even more interesting. The use of comic style animation to narrate the flashback is very effective. This is now been adopted by many of the new age film makers. Given the restrictions of the Indian censor board this definitely is a very effective alternate medium for conveying the intensity of the problem.
If you are able to sit through the sluggish first half of the movie you might enjoy the second half which forms the meat of the story. Overall the movie is watchable at home for its plot.
Wait for DVD/TV – for its plot