Doctor movie review: Sivakarthikeyan’s film is a deliciously wicked dark comedy

  • Doctor movie review: Sivakarthikeyan's new film is unlike any you've seen him in before. With dark humour, Nelson adds spice to a mundane script.
Doctor movie review: Sivakarthikeyan embraces a dark role.
Doctor movie review: Sivakarthikeyan embraces a dark role.
Published on Oct 09, 2021 02:56 PM IST
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By Haricharan Pudipeddi

Doctor
Director: Nelson
Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Priyanka Arul Mohan, Vinay, Yogi Babu and Archana Chandokhe

The first thing that comes to mind when you walk out of Nelson’s Doctor is it’s unlike anything you’ve seen from a Sivakarthikeyan’s movie so far. Taking a refreshing departure from the colourful entertainers he’s popular for; Sivakarthikeyan embraces a dark role-– of an army doctor who goes after a human trafficking gang--with minimal dialogues. Nelson whips up a deliciously wicked dark comedy that works despite its predictable plot and twists. Even the most mundane scenes are elevated thanks to the quirky treatment.

Watch Doctor trailer here:

The plot is simple and familiar. Early on, Varun (Sivakarthikeyan) gets a call from his fiancée Padmini (Priyanka), who decides to call off their wedding after realising that he is not hip enough. When Varun and his folks come home to find out the exact reason behind the rejection, they’re told that he’s not caring and emotional. As the wedding is called off, news comes in that Padmini’s niece has gone missing from her school and the family suspects a case of kidnapping. Varun comes forward to help them and he decides to take the law in his own hands when he realises the police are not too serious about the case. Will Varun succeed in saving girl by taking a human trafficking gang head on, forms the crux of the story?

Doctor takes off slowly and initially it feels a little odd to see Sivakarthikeyan deliver his lines like a robot. It feels like a very mechanical performance but once you get used to his character, the film works like a charm. No other Tamil film apart from Nelson’s own Kolamavu Kokila used dark comedy so effectively in recent years. 

Also read: Bhramam movie review: Prithviraj Sukumaran's pointless Andhadhun remake will blindside you with blandness

Nelson manages to evoke laughs out of the most serious situations and he pulls it off so effortlessly. Most scenes would’ve felt flat if they were not treated the way Nelson did with the aid of dark humour. There’s a terrific action sequence inside a metro train and it’s one of the best sequences in the first half. It’s inventive and extremely wacky. Not sure if this sequence would’ve worked in any other film. 

Despite a slightly predictable second half, Doctor stays afloat because of the way it uses humour to make every cliched sequence feel fresh. Yogi Babu, who usually gets a tiny comic roles in movies, gets an extended screen time here and he’s terrific in his portion. With impeccable timing and deadpan expression, he keeps the film alive in some of its more boring stretches. MTV Roadies fame Rajiv and Raghu Ram play key characters and they make for interesting casting choices. Vinay shines yet again as the sophisticated villain. Anirudh Ravichander’s music and score holds the film together whenever it dips.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021