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Por Thozhil Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, June 8, 2023 • Hindi ]
Por Thozhil Review
Sakthi Film Factory
Sarath Kumar, Ashok Selvan, Nikhila Vimal
Vignesh Raja
Sameer Nair, Deepak Segal, Mukesh R.Mehta, C.V. Sarathi, Poonam Mehra, Sandeep Mehra
Jakes Bejoy

Por Thozhil - Intelligently woven layered psycho thriller

Psycho thrillers as far as Tamil cinema is concerned often do little more than keep the audience engaged for the viewing duration.  Rarely do we get a 'Ratsasan' for example that delves a little deeper into the minds of the killers and conveys it in an easily understandable manner to the general audience.  After a long time comes 'Por Thozhil' that not only keeps the proceedings taut and suspenseful but scores on characterization and its core message with distinction.

Meek looking rookie cop Prakash (Ashok Selvan) is explicitly cowardly and bookish.  He is asked to assist seasoned veteran Loganathan (Sarathkumar) , a crime branch officer assigned to a serial killer case inTrichy.   As expected the duo do not get along as Loganathan is arrogant and blunt and believes only in his street smart deducing skills.   Meanwhile, the number of young female corpses keep piling up with the killer using the same method to murder them.  Clues connect with other unsolved murders committed thirty years back.   Whether the unlikely team of the veteran and the rookie be able to untangle the mysterious knots and nab the serial killer is what the rest of the  fast-paced screenplay is all about.  

Sarathkumar in his second innings as a character actor in Tamil cinema has daringly attempted a few different roles such as 'Kanchana' and Periya Pazhuvettaiyar.  However Loganathan of 'Por Thozhil' has shown him in an entirely different light.  He is imposing as the physically fit officer focussed on getting the killer bereft of any emotion and seemingly caring nothing for those around him.  At the same time he also comes across as a man with his own physical and mental scars showing a semblance of vulnerability at the very end. The talented Ashok Selvan once again charms as the bungling junior officer who learns quickly to adapt not only to his job but his difficult senior.  The fear that he shows when trapped by the serial killer is so authentic and at the same time his awkward attempts to woo the heroine also provide the reliefs.  Nikhila Vimal's character of a technical associate of the cops seems a little forced, especially the romantic overtures with the hero. But at the same time one cannot deny with her natural acting and charm she is the sole breeze in the otherwise bleak film.  A yesteryear hero who passed away recently appears in a spine chilling character that comes as a true surprise.  His terrific performance in spite of his fragile health makes this film a perfect swan song for the Rajini-Kamal contemporary. The heavily built actor who plays the serial killer with his animalistic body language deserves high praise for his performance as well. PL Thenappan is perfectly cast as the police driver who faces a horrifying tragedy.

What works best in 'Por Thozhil' is that the filmmaker does not take the audience for granted and instead takes them on the ride along with the cops to nab the killer.  The strong message of the importance of parenting in shaping young minds is so emphatically underlined that the climax scene alone is worth the ticket price.  The grip that the writer has on the audience is evident as he throws one surprise twist after another that keeps them engaged and invested till the very end.  Like 'Ratsasan' the backstory of both the serial killers work well in establishing their motives. The character arcs of both Ashok Selvan and Sarathkumar unfold in a satisfying manner and both their character traits have a say in the whole picture.  While films like Mysskin's 'Psycho' tried hard and failed to make the audience root for the killer, the debutante director here does it hands down with his clear vision and simplistic narration of a complicated plot.  

On the downside the film seems to be heavily influenced by Western works especially 'Silence of the Lambs' and several real life serial killers such as 'Jack The Ripper' and 'The CopyCat Killer'.   A few twists seem all too convenient and the connection between the different era killers is not very convincing.

The writing by Alfred Prakash and Vignesh Raja is so intelligent that the cinematography and editing naturally are top notch.  The background score by Jakes Bejoy seems too generic and distracting.   Applause Entertainment and Shakti Film Factory deserve applause for backing and presenting such a good work to the Tamil audience.  Vignesh Raja on debut has come up with an intelligently scripted, layered psycho analysis of a film that will work for not only genre lovers but for the general crowd too.   He is most definitely one of the finds of the year and may be the decade too.

Verdict : Dont miss this psycho thriller that has its heart in the right place

Rating: 4 / 5.0


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