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Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru movie review: A whodunit with many unanswered questions

Karthick Naren’s Tamil murder mystery, Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru, is a welcome relief from all the song-and-dance and low-brow comedy that passes of as popular Tamil cinema. Sadly, it leaves more questions unanswered.

movie reviews Updated: Dec 29, 2016 12:06 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru movie review,Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru review,Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru
Tamil murder mystery Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru stars actor Rahman in a pivotal role.

Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru
Director: Karthick Naren
Cast: Rahman, Prakash, Delhi Ganesh, Anjana, Yashika
Rating: 2.5/5

Debutant director Karthick Naren’s Tamil murder mystery, Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru, is gripping to a point, starting eerily on a rain-soaked, dark night -- when we have a killer on the prowl, and his target appears to be a young woman celebrating her birthday with her boyfriend. As he places a ring on her finger, Hell breaks.

The film fast-forwards six years when we see a retired and handicapped cop, Deepak (Rahman), talking about his famously unsolved case of the murder to a young man who wants to join the Indian Police Service. On a seemingly dull morning six years ago, Deepak is called in to investigate a suicide of a young woman that later turns out to be a case of homicide. Even as he probes this, he gets a phone call about a woman missing from her flat, where there are traces of blood. Deepak realises that there is a strange link between these two unfortunate women. But he cannot nail anybody. Or, maybe, he does not want to.

Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru is undoubtedly a welcome relief from the low-grade comedy, garish costumes and meaningless songs and dances that Tamil cinema is largely known for. Naren -- who has also written the story -- must be commended for his highly focussed way of narration. No distractions here.

Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru is undoubtedly a welcome relief from the low-grade comedy.

Rahman is effective as the policeman called upon to do something which he does not quite cherish. But does he have a choice? Perhaps, a more seasoned helmer could have brought out this dilemma with greater conviction.

Also, Naren’s scripting often appears muddled -- causing confusion in the mind of a viewer. A thriller or mystery cannot, after all, be such a jigsaw puzzle that solving it diminishes a fair degree of cinematic enjoyment.

As Naren told this critic later that a second viewing of his work would make things clearer. But, really, audiences cannot be expected to do that.

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First Published: Dec 29, 2016 12:04 IST