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Pencil Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, May 13, 2016 • Tamil ]
Pencil Review
GV. Prakash, Sri Divya
Mani Nagaraj
S. P. Ragavesh

A great curiosity surrounding the much delayed ‘Pencil’ is undoubtedly how G.V. Prakash Kumar has performed in his debut vehicle.  First time director Mani Nagaraj has chosen a campus murder mystery and for most parts keeps the audience interested.

 The film opens in a classroom where an unknown assailant continuously stabs plus two student NIthin (Shariq Hassan) on the neck with a pencil  until he drops dead.  The story cuts back to introduce Nithin’s arch rival Siva (G. V. Prakash Kumar) who has his eyes on pretty classmate, Maya (Sri Divya) who does not reciprocate.  The screenplay centers on NIthin in the first half as his character is revealed to be fully grey with many people having a motive to kill him , including Siva, Maya, the school security guard ,a couple of girl students, a male and a female teacher and three rowdies who get into the school compound dressed as NCC cadets.  The interval block puts Siva as the prime suspect, in the eyes of the audience and Maya but the girl who is now in love with him takes it upon herself to clear the mystery by finding the real murderer before anyone discovers Nitin’s body and how she does it forms the rest of the screenplay.

 Any viewer who thinks that GVP in his debut film will stutter and stumble is in for a surprise as he has carried the role of a school student with relative ease and the only grouse is that his character does not have much scope.  Shariq Hassan, the son of actors Uma and Riyaz Khan has a meaty role as the spoilt brat with absolutely no scruples and he has done full justice to the role of Nithin and is a welcome find.  Sri Divya who pulled off a rural school girl in ‘VVS’ looks slightly overgrown in the urban uniform, but her pleasant screen presence sort of compensates for that.  Suja Varunee as the teacher who is blackmailed by Nithin with a hidden camera clip is one of the neat performances worth mentioning. Veterans Urvashi, T.P. Gajendran, VTV Ganesh and Abishek do what is expected of them.

 ‘Pencil’ is greatly helped by the background score of GVP while the songs do not have recall value and mostly hinder the smooth flow.  Gopi Amarnath’s camera is responsible for some crisp images and Antony’s handiwork ensures a smooth flow throughout.  Dialogues are apt and have a natural ring.  A few misplaced comedic scenes manage to evoke laughter. Debutante Mani Nagaraj shows a lot of promise as he keeps the audience engaged for most parts and only falters when Sri Divya takes on the investigation and also the end monologue by Abhishek against school management which is out of place in this thriller.

 On the downside,  the screenplay which is so taut till the interval block begins to falter after Sri Divya takes up the investigation for it seems too easy for her  to hack into anyone’s computer, cell phone or the  school security system.  There seems to be no one except the twelfth standard students studying in that huge school.  The writer director becomes over ambitious by trying to mix the “change the schooling system” line into the murder mystery which fails big time and dilutes the main plot.  The revelation of the real murderer is also very ordinary and has absolutely no shock value which is very necessary for this genre.

 Verdict : Go for it if you like  a fairly engaging murder mystery

Rating: 2.75 / 5.0

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