Neo cop thrillers have come a long way since the legendary Vijayakanth movies. The latest, 8 Thottakkal holds a juicy and intriguing plot that encash on some "international inspirations".
3 out of 5 (Good)
| Baranidharan Sivasankaran (NOWRUNNING)
As I was watching this movie, I could sense where the thematic inspiration came from. I bow before the director of this movie, Sri Ganesh, solely for crediting the creators (during the end credits) whose works that have got him inspired.
He has given credits to Akira Kurosawa, Mysskin and Vince Gilligan among other legendary names. Vince Gilligan as some of you might be knowing is the writer of "Breaking Bad", a path-breaking Hollywood television series that had a successful run from 2008 to 2013 and remains as one of the top-rated series till now.
I was also able to see Breaking Bad posters splattered on the walls in a particular scene, which also served as the "tipping point" for the movie. Apart from the other subtle references, the story and screenplay deftly pay tribute to the famous television series. I am certainly not complaining about it as the writing was adapted for our ethos and the characters were deep rooted with different shades.
The story is about Sathya (Vetri) who grows up in a juvenile prison after being forcefully framed for a murder. The prison warden gets to know of Sathya's plight and takes pity on him. He makes sure that Sathya joins the police force when he grows up, even though Sathya hates the job. According to his wish, Sathya becomes a cop. He neither actively partakes in any case nor takes any bribe. When he finally gets to handle a case, he loses his pistol with 8 bullets loaded into it. His pursuit to recovering the pistol and the consequences of the pistol ending up in wrong hands forms the rest of the movie.
The plot was unique and juicy enough for a cop thriller. I loved the characterisation of MS Bhaskar and Nassar as their characters were etched out with several intricate layers and were prodded every now and then to showcase them.
The lead pair who were making their debut - Vetri and Aparna Balamurali, were not troubled much to deliver the goods, especially, Vetri had some wooden expressions and appeared to be a beaten down version of Vijay Antony in terms of performance. Thankfully his character was offbeat and so it augured well.
The plot was well connected and the "Breaking Bad" theme was well adapted to suit our ethos. A calm and timid man turning violent and bracing immorality are certainly not new, but the way in which it was showcased along with twists was a tidy piece of writing - a great example for adapted screenplay writing and a lesson for the story lifters who blatantly copy every scene while "getting inspired".
The movie could have been done without unnecessary songs, better lead actors and some more pace without prolonging more on the emotional rhetorics, but still the movie held its breath till the last and delivered solid thrills.
Debutante Sri Ganesh who turns out to be a former assistant of Mysskin has certainly picked up screenwriting skills from his mentor. He has to, however, smoothen the rough edges, but otherwise, he has given a palatable thriller in the form of '8 thottakkal'!
Critic: Baranidharan Sivasankaran
3 out of 5 (Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good