Richie Tamil Movie

Feature Film | 2017 | Drama, Thriller
With no real content and some lame performances, Richie is a damp squib that Nivin Pauly should forget and move on!
Dec 9, 2017 By Baranidharan Sivasankaran

Nivin Pauly, who is well known to Tamil audiences through 'Premam' as the whacky and happy-go-lucky George has attempted to make a major foray into Kollywood with the bilingual, 'Richie', which is a remake of the Kannada hit 'Ulidavaru Kandanthe'.

Debut director Gautham Ramachandran comes across as a wishful thinker. Throughout the movie, he was unsuccessfully taking pot shots at noir rhetorics with some of the most bizarrely engaged mechanics to bring forth his visions to life. The problem was, his vision (if at all he had one) still seems to stay in his head.

Coming to the plot - I am just wondering, what was the movie all about? There was nothing really solid for the movie to hinge upon and weave the narrative. The narrative opens with a folklore that hints on bad omen washing the shores of the coastal town of Manapad every now and then through a "friend". In comes, an "abstract" treasure, whose significance only seems to be known to the director, and the hunt for it begins from different quarters.

Attempted to be narrated in an anthology format, the director had literally made a vile mess of it. He has affixed Richie (Nivin Pauly), a local thug to play the central character, and Shraddha Srinath to play the role of a journalist, whose head in which we are made to visualize the happenings. In short, she is the binding glue who is supposed to put together the different narratives. Still wondering about the significance of the different portions in the anthology and what was the director trying to achieve.

Each episode of Richie was filled with retro music, colourful posters, trance beats and a sly "welcome to Tamil cinema" writing on the wall. Richie speaks his lines with a stupor minced with a heavy Malayali accent. Though augured well to signify his abused childhood, the lines lacked flair and the punch. They not only sounded lame but tedious. Especially, when he narrates a story on "dash and dash-dash", it was like the last nail in the coffin.

The supporting cast includes Raj Bharath, Prakashraj, Nataraj, G.K.Reddy, Kumaravel and 'Aadukalam' Murugadoss. None of them seemed to have any clue on what they were up to. They sleepwalked in some of the tedious and naively staged scenes that were the most abstract in recent times. This is a typical example of a cinema with hollow content and high hopes of getting through with a brand name and styling.

Also, the movie doesn't care to inform us of the period in which it takes place. There were no mobile phones and in one of the scenes a vintage analogue telephone was shown, which means it should have been set in the early 90s. Also, the milieu as that of a coastal town that borders Kerala with Syrian Christians is an unfamiliar terrain to the Tamil audience - a major reason why 'Kadal' failed.

The saving graces were the technicalities like the colouring, cinematography, slick editing and some hummable tunes. However, the background score was again loud and annoyingly screamy.

Certainly, it's a forgettable outing for Nivin Pauly and an unfortunate one at being labelled as his "big" Tamil entry. I am sure he can choose better meaningful scripts with an able hand behind the proceedings. For now, this would go down as the dampest squib for 2017!

Baranidharan Sivasankaran


Kiran & Allan (Malayalam Review)