Director: Karthick Naren
Cast: Rahman, Prakash, Delhi Ganesh, Anjana, Yashika
Debutant director Karthick Naren’s Tamil murder mystery, Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru, is gripping to a point, starting eerily on a rain-soaked, dark night -- when we have a killer on the prowl, and his target appears to be a young woman celebrating her birthday with her boyfriend. As he places a ring on her finger, Hell breaks.
The film fast-forwards six years when we see a retired and handicapped cop, Deepak (Rahman), talking about his famously unsolved case of the murder to a young man who wants to join the Indian Police Service. On a seemingly dull morning six years ago, Deepak is called in to investigate a suicide of a young woman that later turns out to be a case of homicide. Even as he probes this, he gets a phone call about a woman missing from her flat, where there are traces of blood. Deepak realises that there is a strange link between these two unfortunate women. But he cannot nail anybody. Or, maybe, he does not want to.
Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru is undoubtedly a welcome relief from the low-grade comedy, garish costumes and meaningless songs and dances that Tamil cinema is largely known for. Naren -- who has also written the story -- must be commended for his highly focussed way of narration. No distractions here.
Rahman is effective as the policeman called upon to do something which he does not quite cherish. But does he have a choice? Perhaps, a more seasoned helmer could have brought out this dilemma with greater conviction.
Also, Naren’s scripting often appears muddled -- causing confusion in the mind of a viewer. A thriller or mystery cannot, after all, be such a jigsaw puzzle that solving it diminishes a fair degree of cinematic enjoyment.
As Naren told this critic later that a second viewing of his work would make things clearer. But, really, audiences cannot be expected to do that.
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