The plot tracks the tumultous journey of Shiva, an NRI who returns to his native place hoping to make something of his life here. He launches a construction business with help from friends and well wishers. But falling prey to some unscrupulous elements, he finds himself caught in a web of deception and intrigue. It’s about how he bounces back and takes on his detractors. The knot may seem interesting on paper, with a lot of scope for action, suspense and thrill. But a slipshod screenplay and amateurish treatment ensures that the ideas never really get translated successfully on to screen.
The early episodes depict Shiva’s (Jeevan) encounters with various people, some of who help him launch his construction firm. Like his old friend Kumar, who introduces him to Eashwar (Ranjith, his new look suiting him), a lawyer respected for his honesty and philanthropic activities. Shiva hires Eashwar as his legal advisor. There is David, a rowdy (Nanda), who turns a new leaf after a brief lecture by Shiva. Shiva employs David in his firm implicitly trusting him. Shiva, with crores of his money invested in the business, seemed an intelligent,smart guy when we met him first. So it surprises one when he turns a sucker for every game practised against him. It is like he is asking for it. With friends and foes clearly demarcated early itself, there is no suspense element left for the audience to speculate on. The actors seem miscast. Like Nanda, as the ‘dreaded rowdy’ David, looks far from it. David’s sudden volte face, and seeking employment with Shiva is most unconvincing. And worse is Shiva instantly trusting him and giving him loads of money and a crucial task to perform for his firm. The characters are neither fully fleshed out nor their actions convincing. The director rushes through the scenes without bothering about the logic or the credibility factor. Jeevan seems totally unconnected and uninvolved with his character. Going by Shiva’s stoic expression, one is led to think that the man was neither affected about his financial losses nor about his humiliation. Vidya as Shiva’s romantic angle, cuts a pretty picture, but is wasted in some inconsequential scenes. If there is anything praiseworthy in the film, it’s a couple of fight scenes. The pre-interval one set against the backdrop of a rainy ambiance, and the final face-off are stunts impressively choreographed (Kanal Kannan).
At one point, Shiva is jailed for perpetrating a fraud against his clients who had bought his residential flats. With him out of the way for quite a while, its a set of comedians- like Kovai Sarala, Singamuthu, Vyapuri and Thambi Ramaiah- who are given a free hand to take over the scenario and support Shiva’s cause. Naturally, no one takes them seriously. Samudhirakani’s entry into the plot as Shiva’s cell-mate made one feel the narration would pep up. But the character too falls in line with the flippant farcical mood. Another distracting phase is where the Srilankan militant issue is linked to the plot. Post interval, the screenplay deteriorates and takes a downward plunge never to recover. Neither exciting nor refreshing, Adhibar is a dreary, mediocre fare.