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Times of India
Jai and Neha, eloping to Hyderabad to get married, offer lift to a stranger on the highway not realizing that he is a murderous psychopath who has escaped from a mental asylum.
A road trip that turns into a nightmare,
Kadavul Paathi Mirugam Paathi
brings to mind Spielberg's
to which it owes a lot. The final portions where the stranger chases the couple's car in a truck is eerily similar to the incidents in that film. However, the too many slow motion shots and vehicle-on-the-road shots only seem to indicate that this is a 45-minute to one-hour plot that has been stretched to feature film length.
managed to pack in the thrills throughout its 90-minute running time despite having no flashbacks or songs. You need solid technique to fashion a gripping film out of this material but that is rarely seen here.
The film begins with a security guard being murdered at a police station and then, in the next scene, we see Jai and Neha en route to Hyderabad to get married. They offer a ride to a stranger, who tells that his car has suffered a breakdown and he needs to go to the next town to get a mechanic.
Meanwhile, the police are investigating a murder and the cop handling the case senses that something is amiss and goes after the three people in the car. Can he get to them before the stranger attacks the couple?
The film manages to be engaging in parts and the suspense over when the stranger will reveal his true colours keeps the first half coast along. In the second half, we are told why he was in a mental asylum and while this flashback feels redundant (the fact that he is a psycho is enough for us to be invested in the proceedings), it offers us a pleasant duet and another fine performance from Pooja. But the film needed drama in between the chase sequences but we don't get that. The conversation between the characters is bland and only seems to suggest that the filmmakers are in some urgency to move on to the next chase. The composer, Rahul Raj, uses excessive guitar riffs for the background score to make these happenings on screen look dramatic but his effort ends up being quite loud.