Film: Dhruvangal Pathinaaru
Director: Karthik Naren
Cast: Rahman, Prakash,Vinod Varma, Santosh Krishna, Pradip
An intriguing screenplay, a fascinating story-telling style and right actors in right roles — Dhruvangal Pathinaaru is refreshing and exciting. Karthik Naren makes his moves with the deftness and assurance of a seasoned chess player, belying the fact that this is his debut. A crime-investigative-psychological thriller, it centers on a cop whose professional and human sides are revealed as the narration progresses and the pieces of the puzzle fit in place. The twists and turns sustain the momentum and interest throughout the narration, which takes just about 105 minutes of viewing time.
Most important scenes happen on a rainy night; the torrential rain provides the perfect ambiance and is almost like a character in the story-telling. The players and the events are varied and apparently unconnected. It begins with Deepak a middle-aged cop (Rahman) looking back at a case he had handled five years ago, the conclusion of which had left some dissatisfied.
‘Karma is a boomerang’, he philosophically remarks at a point. The crucial players then had included Gautam a new recruit (Prakash). Deepak is impressed with his enthusiasm and hire him as his deputy for the investigation into a murder and a missing girl. There were Fabian and his two friends, late night revelers, who are under the police scanner, a couple of film students on a shoot for their project, the missing girl’s friend who’s story doesn’t quite tally, a mysterious white car at the scene of crime, and a newspaper guy who had his own agenda.
It’s the latter who seems the weak link in an otherwise smartly written plot. At times, the back-and-forth style of narration may go over the head of a lay audience. But the director probably realised it; because he pauses for moments during his story telling, to streamline and capsule the complicated scenario in a chronological order.
Karthik’s narrative style demands total focus. It involves the audience to the extent that they cannot afford get distracted or take their eyes off the screen lest they miss some crucial detail. The technical side has coordinated well with the director’s vision. You can see that in the slick editing style, arrangement of scenes (Shrijit Sarang) and the exquisite cinematography (Sujit Sarang).
The cast, mostly freshers, fit in suitably. And last but not least there is Rahman who handles his role with intuitive understanding and pitch perfect efficiency. A truly brilliant performance and the best in his career! An eminently watchable suspense- thriller, ‘Dhruvangal...’ has a universal sensibility and a feel that makes Tamil cinema proud.