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Richie Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Monday, December 4, 2017 • Tamil ]
Richie Review
Nivin Pauly, Natty Natraj,Shradda Srinath, Lakshmi Priya, Chandramouli, Elango Kumaravel, Prakash Raj , Ashok Selvan
Gowtham Ramachandran
Anand Kumar, Vinod Shornur
B. Ajaneesh Loknath

Richie: High on spirit, low on execution

Nivin Pauly was long due in Tamil cinema, he falls in line with many Malayalam actors who have good connection in Kollywood, but he has an even bigger responsibility as it was not his Tamil film that ran for 250 days, it was Premam a Malayalam flick. As a romantic lad in Premam to a henchman in Richie, it is obvious Nivin wanted a strong yet creative content in his debut. Also in the cast is Natarjan who walks in quiet yet delivers a powerful performance. Tamil cinema is not new when it comes to neo-noir films, Richie is the adaption of Kannada superhit movie Ulidavaru Kandante.

The plot and screenplay of Richie tests your patience quite strongly and its not until the second half it starts making sense. Until then the story throws a volley of characters and their perception of the thug - Richie. It starts with Shraddha Srinath a journalist who goes on an information hunt to discover the real story of what happened on the eve of Christmas night. Unveiling nonlinearly, the plot starts with each character giving their perception of what happened at that crucial juncture with "Richie" as the center point. One by one they relate their experiences; a ruthless thug Richie who works for a local gangster, he is the son of priest - Prakash Raj and serves 8 years in Juvenile home; why is a spoiler best to watch and find out as it forms the base of the entire story. Not far away is boat mechanic Natty who flees from his hometown after the death of his dear friend. His unspoken love for Lakshmi Priya is another subplot, for a while he looks a bit lost in the complexity of the plot and its not until the last few minutes his character’s importance is brought to attention.

Dealing a non-linear and a neo-noir film requires primarily lot of work on paper as it involves complexity in bringing the characters to life and to plot them into the script. Richie looks rich on paper, Nivin's character has been scripted with darkness and with a purpose no doubts on that. His actions are unjustified to a point until then he keeps throwing around a lazy arrogance with a sense of no moral responsibility, but when the director tries to bring justice to his character it becomes rather too late for recovery. The same can be said with Natty's character; as a simple mechanic who treats life as it comes, he does not try too hard for his unsaid love but the story doesn’t weigh much time on that only to talk of its importance later. There is one more subplot which is rather kept neat and emotionally well; a waiting mother who lost her son 15 years ago, the agony both the mother-son undergo is solid.

Technically Richie is superior in every aspect; the cinematography is top notch from Pandi Kumar. Every single frame flips your senses, especially the tiger dance is scintillating. BGM by Ajaneesh who scored the original is impressive, the songs though don't linger on, but some mass background score has done the trick. Richie suffers on the major problem of bringing life to the script on paper. While the lack of a gripping execution is one major flaw, a lot of time is spent in covering the background of each characters in the first half and they are brought into the spine of the story a little late. Still the ground performances of Nivin, Natarajan and the rest of the cast shine brightly as they desperately try to save the weak screenplay which suffers terribly from lack of interesting dialogues and presentation.

Nivin Pauly's bold attempt deserves to be appreciated, its not the kind of launch you would have wanted. He chooses a road with variety and does justice to the script to his character even though doesn't reap the benefits. Hopefully he gets to work more in Tamil cinema! Natarajan's character again brings the gritty actor inside the man, he surely deserves an applause. Nothing much on Shraddha, who has limited scope to do justice to her character but does it with ease.

Verdict : Richie is a wannabe neo-noir film that is high on technical aspects, but does an average job in execution. Strong performances from Nivin and Natty deserves a special mention.

Rating: 2.25 / 5.0

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