Kolai Movie Review
Kolai is an investigative whodunit thriller starring Vijay Antony and Ritika Singh in the lead roles. The movie is directed by Balaji.K Kumar of Vidiyum Munn fame.
Premise: Vijay Antony is a private detective who has been brought into a murder investigation to help the police department. How he solves the case alongside the police officer played by Ritika Singh forms the remaining story.
Writing/ Direction: Follows the familiar murder mystery template, an unique treatment is tried in presenting the film. The screenplay is in the non-linear pattern, not just it, there is a constant effort for the paper to screen transition in a peculiar manner. But does it work, unfortunately not, goes overboard and misses the nativity feel. We don't realize that the film is happening in Chennai at any point, with zero concentration on the landscape of where the story is taking place. Appreciable efforts on the research about human psychology and investigation techniques, but all these details will hit only if the flow is interesting. The protagonist is introduced as the smartass detective with a Sherlock Holmes attire, but he does nothing smart, quite literally in the entire movie for that matter. The proceedings are extremely sluggish, with lack of grip and layering in the crime scene, the flow fails to keep us hooked despite the non-linear narrative. The first half setup is dull and the interrogation plot-points are not intense enough. The second half is slightly better, with a decent presumptuous angle to the crime, but that lasts only till the killer is revealed. The reason behind the murder is lame, maybe it is more appropriate to say that his justification is not conveyed in a believable manner. Trying to connect Vijay Antony’s personal life with the crime is a big bummer, purposefully connected with a poor knot.
Performances: Subtle presence by Vijay Antony as always, he can never spoil a film with this toned down act. But the salt and pepper look is needless, felt it was kept simply because his character name is Vinayak. Ritika Singh as a cop has played her role decently, nothing more and nothing less. The supporting artists have their share of importance, but none of their performances are fulfilling nor their characterizations are convincing.
Technicalities: No songs and it is such a big relief for a genre specific film. Background score is different, not in the regular thriller template, but the intent is international, works out to an extent. The visual approach scale is big too, there are many creative shots, but the green-mat sequences with poor CGI waters down the experience. Crisp runtime, applause to the editor for keeping it under 2 hours.
The intent to treat it unique within the thriller genre is appreciable, but the thin script with lack of depth in writing the investigation portions and backstory behind the crime make it a weak outing.
Kolai - A Blunt Whodunit!
Rating - 2.5/ 5