Imaikka Nodigal Review - A three hour thriller succumbed in its own logics and reveals.
Someone should seriously tell our filmmakers to drop the KVAnand trait before making thriller films. Everytime something happens in the scene, the lead character leaves the place without noticing it. And after a scene or two, they stop and think back - fast forward that scene in black and white or sepia tone - a clue, a hint, a voice or a face arrives to their mind! This technique sounded uber cool and brilliant when it was introduced in yesteryear films like Ayan, Ko or say a Thani Oruvan. But with years passing, this has become like a leaning tool for laziness in writing to skip real logic by compensating it with a plastic logic.
Ajay Gnanamuthu's Imaikkaa Nodigal is a 160+ minutes long thriller comprising three episodes. One that holds an intelligence officer looking for a Psycho.. a Psycho killing random rich kids for ransoms.. a Doctor - Model couple falling in and out of love. The film is jumbled between these three episodes and why the Psycho does this all is held up for a final reveal only to know a much bigger reveal about who is really behind it all.
The film's screenplay is built over the cat and mouse game played between the psycho and CBI officer. And after a point, this cat and mouse game or the lion - hyena play just happens and we watch it with no awe or questions. What is the base of this story with a villain and a bunch of officer & photographers hopping over building terraces in broad day light? Why is Rudra inviting himself in this revenge play by Anjali? Why is the story set in this big a city? Why don't we see Nayantara being expelled despite serial murders of powerful ministers' sons happening? How is the entire national media always invested in a secret mission held by CBI despite Nayantara's repetitive question.. 'Mediakku epdi news pochu?'
The film solely rests on Rudra, played by Anurag Kashyap. What sounds like an odd choice in the casting works very well because of his screen presence. His dialogues evoke a sense of casual villainity. Yet, the character is undercooked. A workaholic turned psycho who just loves killing is hard to buy through a flashing flashback of 2-3 minutes. Throughout the film, we have a big 'WHY' all over.. and when we get the answers, they are mere revelations. The character is shown to us like someone who has a control to everything. He can hack servers.. Send group messages to everyone in the media.. Keep changing his locations and confuse trackers.. Yet we see him walking with bare hands all the time. Hence later when Atharvaa just goes into a CCTV footage room of a hotel and just opens a random day footages' folder, we are not even surprised. Hota hai!
Atharvaa's love track is a painful watch. The portions neither hold an emotional connect nor a valid reason to remain in this film. And it is hard to differentiate Atharvaa's face expressions when someone proposes to him or a weight of two tonnes falls over him from the roof. The Raashi Khanna's character is the bubbly heroine, who other than being Atharvaa's pair in a film like this that has no space for such a role, serves in the latter part of the film as a victim for villain to kidnap as well. She falls in love with a dumb toxic male <insert - cuteness overloaded> and at some point opens up that her parents are divorced <insert - emotional choke>. We have to overcome laughs, glossy montage romances, hugs, flirts, "ponnungalukku idhaan vela!" dialogues and obviously a gaana song at a bar that advices fellow men not to love, to get rid of this dullard track.
Nayantara! At times I wonder, what is the basic amount of research our actresses do before they play a particular character. Am not talking about the character of Rashi. But one like Anjali Vikramadityan, played by Nayantara, which is the central character of the film. She is a CBI officer and we hardly see anything she does falling near the line of intelligence. All we see is her giving commands in Bluetooth, asking assistants to track calls, 'Hey! Zoom this video! Pause it', run across Bangalore streets.. Is that all?
Now, look at how Radhika Apte, in Sacred Games played a RAW officer. I am not comparing an Indie Netflix original with a mainstream Tamil film. But the essence. When a big budgeted film like this dumps us with so many locations, monitors, CCTV footages, maps and all.. why not a basic research to arrive at the body language and gestures of a professional CBI?
And if not anyone else.. the hair and make-up department of the film deserves a whole lot of mention. Be it a bomb blast.. Accident.. Brutal fight.. No one ever gets a bit of an injury. We see Anurag thumping Atharvaa with a gruesome rod. Yet we are cut to him in a hospital as fresh as he was in the initial romance episode. We see hard-hitting stunts taking place.. being thrown all over the room.. hit on a road.. but we never see him getting harmed a bit. Threaded eye lashes, glittery eye shades and shining lip sticks are always there no matter how cruel the accidents are or what time at midnights she is about to catch a state deploying psycho.
R.D.RajaSekar's cinematography is rich and cityesque. The tone of the film sets the mood on par with any perfect thrillers we have watched over the years. HipHop Tamizha's background music is the saving grace. The music helps us to be engaged in an otherwise 'whatever' sequences the screenplay takes us to. So is Bhuvan Srinivasan's editing. The sleek sharp cuts at action sequences sounds real. They evoke a great sense of adrenaline rush as we watch it. For all the weakness in writing and screenplay.. the film comes off with a sound making and technicalities.
As a closure.. I still want to ask our filmmakers what is the need for this almost 3 hour long film? Why this grandeur a making for a thriller? Isn't it taking away the eeriness or a fear one needs to be adsorbed while watching a film like this? The only holding emotional portion of the film comes towards the end in the big reveal. The cameo of Vijay Sethupathi!
The natural performance of VJS along with sentimental dialogues and targeted emotions gives you a grip. Though the portion leaves you confused with even more questions like why is the character graph of Anjali this toggling before and after the incident? What is the purpose of revenge here? And what intensity with which it is brought to the narrative? (***Spoilers Ahead: Why she is left alive despite the boys killing VJS? No idea! But we do get one answer though. VJS looks coldly at Nayantara when beaten to death with a rod. "Imaikkaadha andha nodigal", she says! Yes! That's why the film is named so).
Imaikkaa Nodigal, starring Nayantara, Anurag Kashyap and Atharvaa has got a great making yet falters on the air with no logic or emotional connect to back it up.
Rating : 2.5/5