The squeezed to the last drop thriller film series in Malayalam cinema gets squeezed a bit more in B Unnikrishnan's 'The Thriller'. The results are pretty unproductive, in that there is very little that could be seen as new and happening in here. Instead the cut-out characters and the genre-specific cliches make most of the Thriller run-of-the-thrill.
Prithviraj gets to play Niranjan, a super-cop who sees the young heir of a huge business empire lethally stabbed and left abandoned on the highway. He is assigned the case, and before long the IPS officer zeroes in on Martin Dinakar (Sampath) a Dubai based underworld pin, with whom the murdered man had major issues with.
The Thriller falls real weak on the suspense element in that the man behind the deeds is exposed quite early on. The rest of the film is essentially a tussle between the two men, and the script looks for excuses to draw up one confrontational event after the other. The ultimate aim is to pump up all that testosterone, but the punch is very seldom delivered.
The very obvious semblance to a real life murder is mostly restricted to the names. The rest of the story takes on a very different route and ends up at a tricky place in the climax when there is a grand exposition lying in wait. This revelation, if at all surprising, should have been propped up by a slightly more convincing motive. But here, it looks half-baked and quite unpersuasive.
To be fair to the makers, you expect the film to work on certain levels and it often does. But unfortunately, those levels aren't much that would make an edge-of-the-eat thriller. And when it doesn't move an inch further that what is expected, it merely remains a fast and loud film that makes the same noise that dozens of films before it have produced.
The romantic tale that is wedged between all this murder and mayhem is the weakest point in the film, and with a song coming up at the worst chosen moment, things momentarily seem headed for disaster. Thankfully, there is little dwelling on that element thereafter and it thankfully saves many a minute from being washed out with a trace.
The action sequences have apparently been choreographed with great care, but there is a bit too much of flying about that makes the whole affair border on the make-believe. Most of the henchmen remain in an airborne state once the cop makes his entry. There is one particular instance when Niranjan punches a man so hard that he shoots up into the air and travels quite a dangerous distance upward. Any more of it and the man could have ended up a satellite in some remote orbit.
Prithvi delivers yet another whopper performance in a film that doesn't half impress as its lead actor. The young man is all machismo personified, and as the daredevil officer who doesn't mind going that extra mile to bring those crooks to book, he is phenomenally impressive. Sampath as the nasty don matches shoulders with Prithvi with a cold and calculated feat that is equally imposing. In fact, these actors are the only reason why you might like 'The Thriller'.
The Thriller retreads lots of familiar essentials from several other similar movies. A few years ago perhaps it could have worked. But now, it seems just a bit too jaded.