Cobra movie review: Vikram-starrer gets predictable in the end, despite stretches of brilliance
Cobra movie review: The film needed better casting. Apart from Vikram, who shines, the rest of the support cast barely makes an impact. The Tamil film also stars Srinidhi Shetty, Roshan Mathew and Irfan Pathan.
Ajay Gnanamuthu’s Cobra is the kind of film you want to appreciate as well as find faults with. It deserves to be praised because it gives Vikram his most ambitious film in recent years, and the star has so much fun playing a role that doesn’t scream hero. For most part of the film, it’s a character that demands a restrained performance and it’s something that comes naturally to him. The reason why you want to find fault with the film is because of its needlessly stretched run-time, which gets quite tiresome after a point. Read more: Vikram reacts to 'boycott Bollywood' calls, says he doesn't understand it
A series of assassinations of some of the top leaders of the world has given sleepless nights to Turkish Interpol officer, Aslan (Irfan Pathan). With the help of a criminology student from Chennai, Aslan finds out that a criminal named Cobra is responsible for all the assassinations, but his identity remains a mystery. Aslan travels to Chennai to work with the local police to nab the killer. Vikram plays Mathiazhagan, a genius mathematician who lives the life of a recluse. Aslan’s investigation reveals that Cobra could also be a mathematics genius and suddenly all the clues point fingers towards Mathi, who gets involved in the case. Is Mathi really Cobra? And if yes, why is he on a killing spree? This forms the crux of the plot.
Cobra being too ambitious is both a boon as well as bane. The ambitiousness shows off in the film’s attempt to push the scale in terms of grandeur, which is visible in most of the first half. It is also visible in the writing, especially when the film uses theories from mathematics to make the crimes very interesting. Unfortunately, the stretches of brilliance are short-lived as the film does get predictable towards the end. There are instances where the film tries too hard to look ambitious, and this is also one of the reasons why the narrative after a plot twist never holds up.
The film definitely needed better casting. Apart from Vikram, who shines in yet another hand-picked, the rest of the support cast barely makes any impact. Roshan Mathew, who is generally effortless and quite convincing so far in his career, hams it up big time in a largely annoying negative role. It’s a poorly written character that turns irksome after a point.
Then, there’s former cricketer Irfan Pathan, who starts off as the lead investigating officer of the case, but slowly gets sidelined to become useless. Also, it is annoying to see actors, who have their lines dubbed in Tamil, when you clearly know their lip-sync is so off. It’s Vikram, who shoulders the film all the way.
Cobra could’ve been a far more effective thriller if it wasn’t so long. It could’ve also done away with the highly boring romantic track, which hardly helps in keeping the audiences engaged.
Director: Ajay Gnanamuthu
Cast: Vikram, Srinidhi Shetty, Roshan Mathew and Irfan Pathan