Friday, 31 August 2018

Imaikka Nodigal: Keep your eyes wide open

Nayanthara is expanding her star value movie after movie by donning roles that were, for long, essayed only by men. After a bold district collector ('Aramm') and a drug peddler ('Kolamaavu Kokila'), now her avatar in 'Imaikka Nodigal' is that of a CBI personnel investigating a serial murder case.

But, this Ajay Gnanamuthu directorial venture is not a cliched plot or narration like every other action flick, but something that connects society towards the end.

As Anjali Vikramaditya, we see Nayanthara tracing serial killer Rudra (Anurag Kashyap). In a parallel narration, we have Arjun (Atharvaa) falling for Krithi (Raashi Khanna). Both narratives eventually blend and take a new dimension from there.

For about 170 minutes of run-time, we see Ajay keeping the audience in tension despite showing back-to-back hyperlinks. First Arjun's backstory is being narrated followed by Rudra's and, finally, Anjali's.

The USP is that the feel-good backstory of Arjun has a blunt connect with what Rudra has in his. This gets sharper when Anjali has her version. Despite showing these many back-and-forth narrations, Ajay, as a writer, ensures everything falls in place.

There is some resemblance to earlier movies during sequences like call tracking, locating with GPS. But beyond this, the storyline and the takeaway it delivers are fresh.

The sudden appearance of Vijay Sethupathi is not just a simple cameo, but the movie's title itself is on him. His recorded voice being played twice to his daughter, delivers two different emotions before and after his appearance on screen, which is a smart show by Ajay.

Nayanthara's screen presence and her looks of suspicion add deeper value to Ajay's narration, while Atharvaa has two transformations - romance and action. The actor fits into both the emotions and makes a good screen show. Similarly, Raashi's character initially seems to be irrelevant to the screenplay but takes significance in the second-half.

Technically, Pattukottai Prabhakar makes his presence felt throughout the run-time through his dialogues. The ice cream parlour sequence when Anurag says, "Enakku," and feeds himself and the climax portion where he calls Atharvaa, "Thambi, Thambi" are hilarious and deadly. Hip-hop Aadi's background score adds essence to the screenplay during serious scenes. But, we see him underplay during lighter scenes.

Though Ajay has dealt with a socially-conscious plot, there are some scenes where we see him fail, like the place where he objectifies a girl as 'figure'. There is a block where an ex-encounter specialist takes down an underworld don of Mumbai. During this scene, we wonder if it is necessary to denote a religion.

Also, there are some characters in 'Imaikka Nodigal' that are named with caste identities, which seems to be regressive.

If you ignore these irritants, 'Imaikka Nodigal' is a gripping entertainer that keeps the audience guessing throughout.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, August 31, 2018.

A part or complete version of this review by Santhosh Mathevan has appeared in This viewer's note is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only.