Antakshari-playing cop + serial killer with the penchant for mind-games collide in this gritty thriller
What makes a movie “gritty”? Is it when a story is portrayed in a realistic manner? When a story is not just a story but a mirror to society? Or is it just a trope to describe movies with excessive physical and verbal abuse?
Originally made in Malayalam, this movie has an interesting premise. Das, a quirky but honest cop in a modest town living with his family solving petty crimes in his own musical way. He sings with his family, basically communicates in song to the point it’s his calling card. Criminals offer to sing in exchange of freedom while his peers are sick of his of musical ways and want him to be transferred out.
All’s fun and games till his 6-year old daughter is attacked and almost strangled while the mother watched. The young girl survives but is injured and of course traumatized. That leads to a cat and mouse chase with the killer uses Das’ love for antakshari to leave cryptic messages and tick him off.
Antakshari doesn’t mess around after that. As the movie progresses, it gets darker and the music and the frivolity get sucked out minute-by-minute. And that’s by design, this is no superhero beating up hordes of goons without breaking a sweat. This is where the movie gets gritty. In parallel we are shown a backstory with no clear indication of who it’s leading to.
The movie does a great job of making the antagonist’s presence felt. There’s this looming discomfort in many scenes which can keep you at the edge of your seat.
There are a lot of additional characters than the ones necessary to tell the story. The initial context-setting makes you feel there’s more to some characters. but they seemingly vanish as the movie.
The dub quality is very good, however the heart of the movie, the songs sung by the characters are seemingly random rhyming stanzas. I know it’s asking too much from the dub and I’m sure the original audio would do justice, but this is the review of the Hindi dub. so it needs a mention.
You can watch the Malayalam trailer here:
and the movie on Sony LIV.
How did you like the movie? Drop your rating in the comments section!