It takes courage to write a script that has hundreds of loose strands hanging in the air, and you don’t braid them up the regular way, but in various permutations and combinations. A little like the complicated thael pinnal (scorpion plait) of yore. You know where it ends, but not where it began.
And, for that, credit goes to director Mu Maran. It’s hard to believe this is his first film. It’s near polished, with great performances. And, the casting is perfect. After Ko, here’s a chance to see what Ajmal is capable of. The smashing good looks, the sneering… he’s menacing.
Our hero Bharath (a quiet, efficient Arulnithi), a cab driver, is caught in such a plight. He’s almost perfect as the caring boyfriend who ends up being on the trajectory of someone else’s making. He cares deeply for Sushila (an utterly natural Mahima Nambiar), a nurse who also does home visits to earn some extra money. For a change, the film actually shows her working, in a hospital and outside of it, instead of merely stopping with informing us what she is. A cab driver misbehaves with her, and she is saved by Ganesh (Ajmal). And then, they meet again, and again. In another parallel universe, businessman Vasanth (John Vijay) and his wife Rupali (Chaya Singh) lead a miserable life. Two elderly gentlemen have been defrauded by the same person, and seek revenge. One of them is the delightful Anandraj, who has aged with grace. You can almost forgive the dialogue ‘indha vayasula rape-a panna mudiyum (Biggest joy, the audience did not even laugh for this. Are we becoming more sensitive?), considering it’s a throwback to the times when he did that ever so often on the big screen. You almost smile when he says, “idhu kooda appa thaan” and ferries the heroine to safety.
Then, there’s Lakshmy Ramakrishna as writer Vjayanthi, whose husband died mysteriously and whose fancy green 1,000 cc bike is missing.
The police gets a call regarding a gunshot from a house, and three people walked into and out of that house that night. Or, were there more? What links them to that house? Why is everyone held to ransom by Ganesh? And finally, is there a hint of a sequel?
For that, you’ll have to see the movie. It offers you little space to think, and hurtles you along with the characters, whose lives are not really in their control.
In a sense, this film is a hat-tip to late writer Sujatha and his novel, ‘Idhan Peyarum Kolai’. If you’ve made the Ganesh-Vasanth connection, you’ve read your Sujatha.
The film is a taut 121 minutes, and all credit to the director and editor (San Lokesh) for keeping the proceedings on a tight leash. Sam CS seems to be the go-to person for thrillers. His music keeps pace with the pounding of your heart, and vice-versa.
You can’t really name too many flaws. I did wonder how palatial homes were so easy to walk into, though, with nary a locked door.