'Memories' is a standard connect-the-dots whodunit that has its share of suspense, mystery and thrills. Jeethu Jospeh's new film is a decent entertainer in which plot twists abound, and the ambiance is laced with intrigue.
Sam Alex (Prithviraj) is a police officer who has chosen alcohol as a way of life, ever since he lost his wife Teena (Meghna Raj) and his only daughter in an aftermath of a terrorist operation. Years later, the once efficient cop is wanted by the police force again, for tracking down a murderer who has developed a fancy of hanging his victims as if on a cross.
'Memories' has at least a couple of stunning moments and is one of those films that will have you gripping your seats in anticipation. Especially interesting is the way the intermission comes up, and that too in Aramaic!
For most of its part, the film is evenly paced, and once the film maker sets the ball rolling on the court, it never really falls back. The sinister undertone is quite appealing, and it even reminds you of the director's first film.
It is all played pretty safe in that all the requisite ingredients of a thriller are laid out one after the other. There is the cop who has been through a severe tragedy in life and who is hell bent on becoming a failure, the invitation to return to the profession that he loathes now, the frequent flashbacks, the senior officer who detests his return to duty, the woman sypmathiser who is all supportive - almost everything is designed to fit into the conventional suspense film structure.
And yet, 'Memories' engages the viewer as a film, and though the film never moves beyond the rules it keeps your interest level pretty high up the scale. At one particular point, Holmes and 'The Boscombe Valley Mystery' do come to mind fleetingly, but Jeethu Joseph does manage to keep the guess work alive and makes the final revelation as you move towards the climax. The film suffers a slight downfall from that point, and when the plot brings in a character to pile up some further pressure on Sam, believability suffers.
Jeethu however is unable to let go of those familial emotions that had become the stamp of his earlier films, and this is what prevents 'Memories' from being a taut thriller that it could have been. Dramatics and the odd song sequence in between do play spoilsport, but eventually the director veers the film on to the tracks.
This is a film that almost forces you to focus more on the actor than the plot, and Prithvi earns for himself the recognition of having the dexterity to tower above the script when the latter threatens to fail him. Which is why, even the most underwritten scenes turn out to be genuine, and as the hopelessly alcoholic cop, he is a champion all the way.
I wouldn't say that 'Memories' is the greatest thriller to have hit the screens in recent times. But if you are a mystery thriller aficionado, it could strike you as a 'good enough' film that is without doubt, a pleasant, festival surprise this mid-year.
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