Film- Kuttram 23
Cast- Arun Vijay, Mahima Nambiar,Vamsi Krishna, Arvind Akash, Thambi Ramaiah
An investigative crime thriller, the plot is about malpractices in the medical profession and about doctors who believed they were Gods. An adaptation of crime writer Rajesh Kumar's novel, the director has attempted to give a natural realistic feel to his story-telling, even as he tries to blend style with content. But many a time form seems to overpower matter, one getting the feel that the content was not as well worked out, the way its design was.
The plot touches on the social stigma related to childless women who fall easy prey to predators in the medical profession. It has Arun Vijay donning Khaki for the first time and playing a cop. With a trim physique and suitable body language, Arun essays Vetri with perfect understanding, his performance nuanced and eminently watchable.
When a priest is found dead at the church and Jessica the pregnant wife of the head honcho of a TV channel present at the church gone missing, Vetri steps in to get at the truth. With an increase in pregnant women found committing suicide, the case becomes complex and intriguing. During his search for the truth, the cop stumbles on some shocking truths. It's a plot set on a familiar premise, the director infusing it with his own sensibility, the pace a tad leisurely.
The action scenes are well choreographed, like the one at the basement car park, where Vetri takes on his detractors. There is the love angle seamlessly weaved in, where Vetri falls for Thendral, a girl who he suspected knew more about the case than she was prepared to reveal. It’s a cute love-track, with Arun and Mahima (of 'Saattai') sharing a pleasant screen chemistry. The narration has a smooth steady flow, albeit a bit slow for a crime thriller.
The film is stylishly shot and narrated. The camera angles and the colour tones enhanced the film's visual appeal. What could have been worked on was the screenplay. A tad loosely etched, the message is diluted and spread out, what with megalomaniacs and blackmailers being in the fray too, apart from the unholy goings on at fertility clinics.
And while there are quite a few villains in the plot, they don’t seem intimidating enough, their independent actions distracting. A more focused screenplay would have helped. Incidentally, the 23 in the title apart from the film being Arun's 23rd venture, also has a connect to the film's plot. Taking about 134 minutes of viewing time, the film an average fare could have been a riveting thriller, if only it had a more focused and a coherent screenplay.