CHOIR GIRL REVIEW – Choir Girl is a dark drama in English released in 2020. A photographer from lower economic strata becomes obsessed with a street prostitute in his neighborhood. Their unusual friendship unfolds into a gritty and gripping tale as they try to make a life for themselves.
This is a debut movie for director John Fraser. I didn’t get a feeling of watching a debutant’s movie. It was engaging right from the first scene till the end. The writing of the movie is brilliant in terms of character development and plot progress. In the first few minutes of the movie, you understand the plight of the two lead characters and their motive. The cramped room of the photographer versus the perfect symmetry of a high-class society which he is longing to get into is brilliantly framed. The scenes and expressions of the lead characters convey a lot beyond the dialogues.
The uniqueness of the plot comes in terms of the characters whose unusual friendship and obsession complicates the knot. The climax is very well made and it is something not easy to guess. The use of black and white makes it go well with the photographer’s tale and also builds more tension to the scene.
High Points: The lead character development, uniqueness in the plot, cinematography, background score, and the climax
Low Points: This movie has a strong appeal to the lovers of dark and gritty drama. It may not appeal to the folks who do not love dark gritty drama.
Overall, I had the same feeling of watching Following directed by Nolan after watching Choir Girl. I am looking forward to the future works of John Fraser. This is a must-watch if you love dark thrillers.
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.
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.
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
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