Kolaigaran movie review: This Vijay Antony starrer is a well executed investigative thriller
Director - Andrew Louis
Cast - Vijay Antony, Arjun, Ashima Narwal, Sita
Rating - 3/5
Actor Vijay Antony, who has been struggling with a string of bad films, makes a solid comeback with Kolaigaran, a taut, extremely well executed investigative thriller which is loosely based on the widely popular Japanese novel, The Devotion of Suspect X. The fact that the makers have credited the original deserves special mention. The film’s central idea - about the successful cover-up of a murder involving a mother and a daughter - is directly lifted from the novel but director Andrew Louis takes the idea and turns it into a very engaging cat-and-mouse thriller with delicious twists.
Watch the Kolaigaran trailer here
The film opens with the murder of a young woman, who has her throat slit by an unknown man. Cut to the next shot, in which we see Prabhakaran (Vijay Antony) confessing to the crime. As the story shifts to 44 days earlier, we are introduced to police officer Karthikeyan (Arjun), who is called in to investigate the gruesome murder of an unidentified male. The investigation reveals that the victim is Vamsi, who has been stalking Dharini (Ashima) and her mom. Karthikeyan has reasons to believe that the daughter and mother may have killed Vamsi, but their neighbour Prabhakaran comes forward and claims he is the culprit. The rest of the story is about finding out who actually killed Vamsi and what could be the real motive behind it.
Unlike the novel, Kolaigaran pits a determined police officer against a very intelligent man and what unfolds between them really makes the film work. Jeethu Joseph’s Drishyam was also based on The Devotion of Suspect X, but in that film, we already knew who had committed the crime, and this is where Kolaigaran stands out. It merely teases us with two probable ways Vamsi could’ve been killed and uses the suspense to elevate the pay-off in the climax.
It was refreshing to see Vijay Antony in a role that fits him like a glove. Except for the two romantic numbers and a brief action sequence, we see him play the character with a brooding personality and he couldn’t have essayed his part any better. As an actor who has openly acknowledged his limitations when it comes to performance, he really plays Prabhakaran with restraint and that really suits the character. In another film, his performance would’ve been judged, but not here, because he aces his part even with limitations.
Arjun as the investigating officer is a great addition to the cast and he really shoulders the film with a towering performance. One of the primary reasons why Kolaigaran works majorly is because it gives audiences the chance to step into the shoes of its lead characters. It presents multiple scenarios that could have lead to the murder and as audiences we can’t help but trying solving the case. Also, shout-out to music composer Simon King for maintaining the eeriness throughout with his terrific score.
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