When in the opening sequence of a film, you see a girl typing frantically on a Microsoft Word document, that someone is after her and that she is about to be bumped off, all the while looking out of the window into a dark night where she hears approaching footsteps, you know something has gone wrong.
Apparently, the girl in question who gets kidnapped and later murdered is Hema (Sarayu), daughter of a diamond merchant Satharam (Shanavas). The film in question is Kanyakumari Express, that has Suresh Gopi playing Mohan Shankar Achari, DIG of the Special Branch, who is put in charge of handing over the ransom to the kidnappers.
The first surprise comes when Satharam records the voice of the kidnappers demanding the ransom on his mobile, and telling us that he intends to hand it over to the police. The next thing we see is the Chief Minister (Jagathy) watching a video clip of the conversation on his laptop, with liberal shots of the girl pleading for mercy. We would never know if it was the newly launched 3G service that came to Satharam's aid.
Now this film that has been scripted by Dennis Joseph who has given us real gems in the past strikes an all time low on account of several factors. Its lead hero is a confused man, and you just to need to watch him for a few minutes to grasp this fact. On being summoned by the Chief Minister, he arrives within minutes at the Minister's residence wearing a lunki.
Mohan Shankar, we are warned is a 'man of friction' whatever that means. It isn't exactly clear as to whether it is dry or fluid friction that we are dealing with here. However the heat that is expected to arise out of the friction is there, as the DIG goes on a dramatic spree, unleashing one theatrical element after the other.
His mission to act as a mule is even funnier. The kidnappers are obviously based in the capital city and they make him run from pillar to post like an errand boy. Finally he is made to wait on the Highway to Cape Comorin for the Kanyakumari Express, and imagine our disappointment when instead of the giant on rails that we have been expecting, along comes a white bus with a freshly taken print-out that screams 'Kanyakumari Express' stuck on its face. He climbs aboard, and the mission goes all wrong.
The story doesn't end there. Several months later, the man goes back to Kanyakumari again and is seen photographing the sea. You convince yourself that this is a passion that he has lately developed, when you are told that he has been asked to take a break by the Chief Minster himself, and the cop has taken to continuing his research on archaeology. Hence the snooping around suspicious looking statues.
To make things worse, there is this sinister woman Hannah (Saarika) roaming the shores of Kanyakumari, and the villains getting killed one after the other. There is also Babu Antony arriving on a helicopter and adding to the threats. The cop continues with his research, every now and then thinks of his wife and kid who are no more, and explores murder scenes.
If all this sounds a bit incoherent, you should go and watch the film. Because I was having trouble locating coherence in this plot, and the subtexts if at all had gone totally missing. This is an express bus that doesn't really have a driver on it and that is headed straight for disaster.