Jeffin Joy's directorial debut '369' is made up of thick brushstrokes: intriguing moments, twists and suspense. The combination of elements is in the right proportion as far as this investigative thriller is concerned. The screenplay written by the director has ample factors to keep you guessing about the outcome in most parts. The film hits the skids when the process of unfastening the chords of mystery gives a cold impact.
The suspense finds its roots with the mysterious disappearance of Dr Devaraj. R. Varma (Ben Sebastian) one fine morning. Meanwhile, his former student Rithu, played by Miyasree, receives an SMS from him the previous night before his disappearance. This befuddles everyone including the family of Devaraj. That night a stranger barges into the house of Rithu and he tries to attack her. Police officer Wilson Jacob (Shafiqu Rahiman), who is investigating the doctor's missing case, interrogates Rithu and her fiancee Sanjay (Hemanth Menon), a dubbing artiste.
As the police are groping in the dark, Rithu too goes missing from her house. Now the suspense milieu reaches its pinnacle and the most part of the subsequent scenes are narrated at night. Sejo John's BGM accompanies grippingly well the theme of '369', which is not just a number but a significant figure in the plot. Then what does go wrong?
In this rightly set premise, the characters exude fragile energy that wilts the effective settings. The overextended climax has in store a few unconvincing events and they are terrifically disoriented to disrupt all the expectations. Hemanth Menon appears as inept at holding the intriguing sequences and it leads to the meltdown in the final stages of '369'. In a pivotal role, Miyasree seems to be too cautious in fulfilling the responsibility so that her performance strikingly lacks consistency.
There is hardly any dearth of engaging moments in '369', but the prospect of a complete investigative thriller comes undone largely due to the mediocre performances of actors. Anil Eswar's visuals, mostly the night sequences, are appreciable for their proximity to the mood of the thriller.
Instead of being smart and surprising, this film turns out to be sloppy and the suspense evaporates gradually. The different crime milieu cannot mask the creative shortcomings, especially in the latter half.
NOW PLAYING | MOVIE REVIEWS