has its heart set in the right place but it's the beats which are occasionally irregular.
Kamal Haasan finally makes a comeback to Telugu cinema and how! He brings a cop story which is classy and sleek and is adapted pretty decently to the local sensibilities. For the uninitiated, it is a bilingual remake of French film
At its core,
is a very ordinary story of a Narcotics Bureau Chief engulfed in a cat and mouse chase with the drug mafia after his only son is kidnapped. Actually, the film is less of a story and more of an incident and the consequences that arise during the subsequent days. This isn't the quintessential concept you come across every Friday. More admirably, it has no elaborate song-dance sequences, syrupy romantic track or gravity defying stunts and mopey emotions.
It is interesting how the narrative doesn't dig deep into building a story for each character or telling us the reason for their behavioural quirks because it is not of importance to what's happening. For instance, Diwakar (Kamal Haasan) and his teenage son Vasu (Aman Abdullah) share a difficult relationship and we don't really know why, but frankly it doesn't matter.
And then, there are minute details which are used as a means to tell a story. Like a bucket which is placed under the leaking ceiling tells you the time so does the increasing crowd!
The film plays out in a night club for most part and probably that is one reason it becomes a bit tiring in the later portions. Characters are opening and closing doors, running into the kitchen and toilets, trying to hide behind the crowd and occasionally just reveling in the club's atmosphere over and over again. The movie's narrative is captivating in the first half and by interval you are already rooting for the protagonist. Despite some highs, the film is replete with several dull moments too especially in the second half where the proceedings begin to drag. Diwakar's search for his son goes on and on and it makes you wonder why they just can't get it finished with. But then again, the momentum wavers with some interesting fight sequences which look very real - especially the one between Trisha and Kamal Haasan being the highlight - and comical situations coming in between.
It's Ghibran, though, who is the star of the film with his engaging background score which adds element bringing alive the mood of a club. Sanu Verghese deserves special mention for the camera work.
While Kamal Haasan and Prakash Raj steal the show outright, they are ably supported by Trisha (amazing in her understated police avatar), Madhu Shalini (in her best performance till date), Asha Sharath, Kishore, Sampath and Yuhi Sethi. Even the child actor Aman is very refreshing.
On an ending note, if you scan Kamal Haasan's filmography,
would definitely not top the list of his works. However, the film, helmed by Rajesh M Selva, has technical brilliance. The thing with the film is that it has its heart set in the right place but it's the beats that are occasionally irregular.