'Detective', starring Vishal, Prasanna, Vinay, Anu Emmanuel, Andrea Jeremiah and others, hits the screens this Friday. Here is our review.
Advaith Bhushan (Vishal) is our desi Sherlock Holmes, who runs a detective agency. Manohar (Prasanna in a Watson-esque role) is his partner. A schoolboy brings the case of his Pomeranian dog killed by a bullet which leads the detective and his assistant on the trail of a gang of high tech assassins headed by Holcha (Vinay).
Holcha's ominous, silent gang has been responsible for committing atypical murders in the city. It's now up to Advaith to crack the case by bravely and intelligently taking on the consummate villains.
There is a subplot involving a pickpocket, Mallika (Anu Emanuel), who turns a new leaf for the hero and also aids him in his mission at a crucial juncture.
Vishal's character has obviously been moulded after Jeremy Brett’s portrayal of the famed fictional director (There is a tribute in the opening credits to the actor as well as Sir Arthur Conon Doyle). But his hurried gait and snapping dialogue delivery are signature Mysskin.
The way Vishal's character is established as a principled man, as well as an eccentric persona, is very mature. His equation with Mallika, who he falls in love with all while chiding her, is a whiff of fresh air. Dialogues like 'Nuvu choostunnavu, nenu vethukutunna' establish his sharp-witted trait.
There is one beautifully choreographed Kungfu fight in a restaurant which provides enough fodder for Vishal’s pyrotechnic skills.
Vinay is aptly cast as the cold-blooded killer who has time to enjoy his coffee while he shreds a corpse with an electric saw or cuts open a young girl’s stomach to bleed her to death.
Anu Emmanuel is lovely and scores well in her last scene (the line, 'Nenu ippatiki pick pocket ne', is heart-touching). Andrea as a ruthless gang member shows that she is quite adept at action. K Bhagyaraj (veteran filmmaker) as one of the villains makes a cool impact. The scene where he is killed by his own friend is movingly narrated.
The big plusses are the beautiful visuals, attention to the detail, the symphony-style background score, impeccable art direction and well-choreographed stunts.
On the flip side, the dreaded gang members turn out to be limp in putting up a fearsome fight. This is ironical, given that they are adept at executing unconventional murders in exchange for millions.
The screenplay is also flat as the audiences are blindly led by Vishal’s character who builds up his case even to the extent of revealing the villain’s background through dialogue. Somewhere in the second half, once Vishal and a police team start hunting for the thugs, the film becomes mildly hackneyed.
The finale is superb with some excellent cuts and BGM, while the way Vishal intelligently saves himself from Vinay is gripping.
It's not just Vishal, but everybody else does their bit in making the proceedings intense. The hero's idiosyncrasy is enough to make you have a smile on your face at times. One of the class acts by the talented actor, this!
It's a visual treat as cinematographer Karthick Venkatraman’s lighting and subjective camera movements work well for the script. Some of the tension is created by the lingering camera or a nervous off-screen pan. Arrol Corroli's symphonic background score with the violin dominating is another highlight and his songs too pass muster. The editing is smooth and has the very distinct Mysskin flow.
'Detective' raises the bar in presenting a gripping whodunit without songs and a separate comedy track. There are some problems with the screenplay in the second half but it makes for a nice watch any day.