Has Style, Lacks Content

It’s a cop-chase-cop story where one kills criminals in fake encounters, and the other wants to bring the renegade to justice

Published: 02nd January 2016 05:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd January 2016 05:44 AM   |  A+A-


The plot centres around an encounter specialist Shakti, who thought he was serving society by eliminating criminal elements but soon realises that he was just a pawn in a much bigger game.

The debutant director has attempted to make his narrative stylish but at times it turns gimmicky at the expense of clarity. Though he sustains a speedy momentum for the most part, the back-and-forth narration and the subplots, adds to confusion.

Shaktivel Vasu aka Shakti returns to Tamil screen after a fairly long hiatus. The actor, a chubby chocolate-hero in his earlier films, sports two avatars here — a clean-shaved and also a rugged one. Bearded, sleek and flattering, the actor essays the latter role with a lot of style and attitude. And it’s this new appearance and demeanour that would make directors sit-up and take notice.

Shakti was determined to wipe out criminals and he didn’t mind doing it through fake encounters. He staged the killing of Arjun, a criminal (Riaz) and used false evidence to show that it was self-defense. He goes about on a shooting spree until Shakti realises that he had been made a scapegoat.

There is no romantic track for the hero in the film and no light moments. Shakti’s character is focused, intense and grim.

The first half is a lot of confusing moments. A policeman on a mission (Prasad) wears a mask and removes it after a police operation. There are the two pairs of lovers who inadvertently get entangled in the affairs of the hero. The past of the lovers is revealed in bits and pieces — from beginning of the film to the end. And it becomes a tad tiresome to fit all the pieces together.

Matters gain momentum with the entry of Samudrakani as an officer of the Human Rights Commission. Battered in his earlier job as a cop, he is the epitome of what a corrupt system could do to the morale of an honest man. Determined to book Shakti for the fake encounter killing of Arjun, his character is the one that stands out. Samudrakani is impressive when he’s interrogating suspects and meticulously breaking down their defenses to bring out the truth. The climax could have been better crafted.

For a film, form and style is as essential as its content. But when style turns gimmicky and at the expense of the content, it only puts off a viewer. A simpler uncomplicated narrative style would have been more welcome here.


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