Pencil Tamil Movie Review
After back to back hits in Darling and Trisha Illana Nayanthara, Pencil comes as a stumbling block in GV Prakash's fledgling career as a lead actor. The film is a blatant, uncredited rip-off of a decently watchable Korean thriller drama '4th Period Mystery', whose screenplay kept audiences on the edge of their seats with organic flow of twists and turns. However, in Pencil, debutant Mani Nagaraj plants comedy elements dominantly in the script to attract his target audience. The end result is bad. Comedy acts as a complete deterrent in a script, whose mood is steered by a murder mystery and genre is contrastingly different.
The appalling latest fad in Tamil cinema is the addition of monotonous comedy elements in the name of 'adapting the script to suit the sensibilities of local viewers' whenever a foreign material is rewritten without crediting the original source. The basic premise of Pencil is a murder mystery and the consequences that follow.
Shiva (GV Prakash), a nerdy plus two student, falls in love with his reclusive class mate Maya Srinivasan (Sri Divya), who is an ardent reader of crime novels. In the same class, Nithin (Shaariq Hassan), a self-loving, pompous son of a popular actor keeps posing troubles to fellow classmates with his cheap, perverted behaviors spiced up by his cocky attitude. Shiva and Nithin detest the very sight of each other. Mani Nagaraj has attempted to deviate from the original by including a truckload of unnecessary characters that spoil the smooth flow of storytelling.
The first half goes haywire in establishing the supporting characters who are the only silver lining in an otherwise boring film, which aims to be a gripping whodunit. Sri Divya as the geeky Maya who aims to put the pieces together struggles to essay her role with perfection. She comes across as an amateurish performer, who fails to pull off the subtlety the role requires.
Following a not-so-thrilling interval twist, the film gets trapped in the commercial formula with unheeded importance given to the needless supporting characters who are no way connected to the main plot. The climax is another long drawn affair that tests the patience of audiences.
Overall, Pencil is an average whodunit crime thriller that takes its original source material for granted.