Chandru (Sree), a medical student, saves a dying man by operating him, but soon, the police are knocking on his doors for helping Wolf (Mysskin), a paid killer. And, worse, they want him to kill Wolf.
Mysskin returns to his forte — the crime thriller — in
, a three-way chase, that is also a morality play. The film opens with an injured man trying to flee from someone in the middle of the night. Chandru, a young medical student, finds him lying in a pool of blood on the roadside and takes him to a hospital but they refuse to take him in as he has been shot. A frustrated Chandru takes him home and performs the operation himself, with his professor guiding him over phone. But, when he wakes up in the morning, the man is gone and soon, the police are knocking at his doors and arresting him for helping a most wanted killer for hire, Wolf.
The cops force Chandru to act for them in their operation to capture Wolf dead or alive, but their quarry is cleverer and manages to abduct Chandru. Meanwhile, Wolf's former boss and his gang are also combing the streets, wanting to take him out for their own reasons. As he is being taken by Wolf all over the city, Chandru starts learning facts about his captor, and has to soon decide if he wants to be on the side of the law or on the side of righteousness.
The initial set up of
is easily one of the best this year. Almost the entire film takes place in a single night and the first 20 minutes contain many of the idiosyncratic visual cues that we have come to associate with Mysskin's films — lonely roads, street lamps, lengthy tracking shots, injured man on a bike, slightly exaggerated performances and minimal dialogues. Every character, big or small, has a quirk; Chandru takes drugs, the villain is in a wheelchair, while his henchmen include a couple of ninjas! The first half has a very curious effect on us, dragging us into the plot despite us being unaware of the true nature any of these characters and their real motives.
The film does lose a bit of momentum in the second half, when we get into the revelation — why is the Wolf being chased, and why does he want to save a visually-challenged family. This family is also the film's weak link as they often threaten to turn things melodramatic. Mysskin completely avoids going for a flashback to explain Wolf's past, and instead tells those events in the form of a story, where Wolf substitutes animals for the characters (this motif is used in the end credits as well). It involves a lengthy shot and is really ingenious but also a little laborious, especially because of the long drawn out manner in which the Wolf recites this tale.
The cops, too, after a point, become sidetracked. The climax features that classic Tamil cinema cliche of a posse of policemen arriving after things have been resolved by the protagonist. There is one cop, Lal, who tries to be sensible and think different, but this arc isn't really developed beyond a strictly functional level.
But, on the whole,
, while a rung below Anjathey in the filmography of Mysskin, is a tense thriller, one of the interesting films of the year, that is yet another showcase for its maker.