Jigsaw puzzles have always intrigued me, and it should probably be one of the reasons why Johny Antony's release of the week, 'Masters' caught my attention. An intricately designed riddle that gets even more fascinating as you try to solve it, 'Masters' is a suspenseful drama that keeps you perched on the edge of your seats.
'Masters' begins off by showcasing the camaraderie shared by ASP Sriramakrishnan (Prithviraj) and Milan (Sasikumar) a journalist - college mates and friends who have stuck with each other through thick and thin. The police officer is entrusted with the investigation of a murder that involved a suicide bomber, and in no time he realizes that there is much more to it than what meets the eye.
The real hero of 'Masters' is neither Prithviraj nor Sasikumar, but Jinu Abraham, who has penned one of the most absorbing scripts that I have come across in Malayalam films in recent times. There has been no dearth of crime thrillers in Malayalam, and if 'Masters' doesn't fall into the customary mystery category its thanks to an enterprising writer at its helm. The true mastery lies in the way this story is told.
It might seem almost implausible to craft a murder mystery around a known culprit, and its here that 'Masters' stands apart. The ploy and the motive of the person committing the crime is what has been brought under focus, and as such 'Masters' provides more of an exhaustive study on the criminal psyche than on the crime itself.
Its interesting how one thing adds to another, gradually making up a sensible whole, with little ambiguity regarding the proceedings whatsoever. A neatly ingenious idea that is almost impeccably executed into an exciting script, Jinu proves unquestionably with 'Masters' that there is plenty of hope left for writing in Malayalam cinema.
When you take into account the superb buildup of the plot, the climax might come across as a bit tame in comparison. I only have some objection to the way it stretched on for a bit, even after the plug was pulled off the suspense dynamite in the climax, but I guess it's too little a flaw for all the entertainment that it provided till then.
Prithviraj fits the role to the 'T' and is admirably impressive as the police officer who would stop at nothing until the truth is found out. In sharp contrast, Sasikumar comes up with a timid performance that is further hampered by the dubbing. Certainly surprising, since the actor is such a natural artiste in Tamil films. Ananya is incredibly good in a very brief role, and Pia Bajpai does a commendable job as well.
The film has all the makings of a commercial potboiler that should see it sailing smoothly through the box office seas for a while. Way too superior to the generic thrillers being churned out by the dozen, 'Masters' is a cool chiller for this summer, that delivers its jolt moments with aplomb.
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