To prove himself to his girlfriend Sreela's father, Chandru accepts a job in a foreign country only to get imprisoned there on arrival for carrying drugs. Facing a death sentence, can he clear his name and find the person who landed him in such a predicament?
When a cinematographer decides to turn a director, the one thing we can be assured of is that the film will look pretty. And
, the directorial debut of Ravi K Chandran, one of the finest Indian cinematographers at the moment, is certainly a visual delight. Right from the opening frame, where we see a magical Mumbai skyline at night to the closing one of the leads stranded in an expansive desert, the images look beautiful. The costumes of the actors too are finely colour coordinated to go with the locations. But despite all the colours on screen, this is such a dull, flavourless film, let down by the writing, which is preposterous and uninspiring. We only get a whiff of what Ravi K Chandran is after — a fugitive-on-the-run thriller with a
-like romance involving a woman trying to save her lover.
The film begins with a shootout where a most-wanted terrorist is shot dead and the director uses this a couple of scenes later to nicely stage a song capturing the hero, Chandru, falling in love (he rescues the heroine, Sreela, who is caught in the shootout). But Chandru is an aimless, happy-go-lucky youngster but this is a big no for Sreela's father (Nasser), a retired major, who humiliates him. So, to prove himself, Chandru takes up a job in Basilistan, a fictional Islamic state with tough laws, but on his arrival, he is detained for carrying drugs. It is at this moment that Ravi K Chandran wants to set up the film's intermission and so, the entire first half has nothing but repetitive scenes of Chandru wooing Sreela, that are neither funny nor romantic.
Unfortunately for us, the second only makes the first seem better despite the actual plot kicking in only here. We have to put up with amateurishly written prison sequences, an unimaginative way to bring the heroine into the plot (you keep wondering why it has to be her and not someone better qualified, like her dad's cop friend Anwar, who has to go to Basilistan to save Chandru), mood-killing songs, and stunts filled with cliches (a bald man gets hammered on his head with a bottle, and he dies by striking his head against a hook, a Bourne-inspired sequence where the hero has to save the heroine from the villain's henchmen through cobbled alleyways, and the most cliched of cliches — a villain who is the worst shot ever). As if to top all this, we even have Thambi Ramaiah and Karunakaran (who plays a thankless sacrificial lamb here) popping up in Basilistan of all places.