Lock Up movie review: A predictable but surprisingly engaging investigative thriller
Lock Up movie review: The film is a praiseworthy attempt in the investigative thriller space. It’s also one of the better Tamil films among the recent direct OTT releases.
Director: SG Charles
Cast: Vaibhav, Venkat Prabhu, Vani Bhojan, Shamna Kasim and Eswari Rao
Lock Up, from debutant filmmaker SG Charles, is yet another Tamil film to bypass theatrical release and make it to a streaming platform. After the much-hyped releases of Ponmagal Vandhal and Penguin, Lock Up has made it to Zee 5 without much ado, and that’s exactly what has worked in its favour. The fact that there’s not much hype associated with the film has made it a pleasantly surprising watch, despite how predictable it gets towards the end. Since you’re not sure of what to expect from the film, you buy into its story that makes for a decently engaging investigative thriller.
The film doesn’t waste any time in developing its world and introducing us to its characters. It opens with a phone call from a police commissioner, who assigns Eswari Rao to take charge of a case in which a police inspector is killed and a woman (played by Shamna) dies by suicide. Eswari suspects that there could be a connection between the murder of the inspector and Shamna’s suicide. As she starts investigating the case, we are introduced to the local inspector Murthy (Venkat Prabhu) and his subordinate Vasanth (Vaibhav).
This is a thriller that’s built on police conspiracy. Almost every officer is ready to do anything for a promotion, and they don’t care how dirty things get in the process. As a dialogue in the film goes, it’s tough to differentiate between a good and bad cop. The film manages to give us a closer look at police conspiracy and how it affects common people who become helpless and voiceless. The film does draw some inspiration from Mysskin’s Yuddham Sei where a family decides to avenge the death of their daughter. Thankfully, the family revenge angle isn’t the core plot and the focus is at most times on the investigation behind two deaths.
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In a refreshing departure from her usual screen avatar as mother, Eswari Rao shines in the role of the investigating officer. Even though her character could’ve been written better, it was comforting to see her get some spotlight in an otherwise male-dominated police stories. Venkat Prabhu, a popular filmmaker, gets his act pretty convincingly as the cop with some secrets. A regular face in his role would’ve made it very predictable but Venkat makes it realistic. Vaibhav, too, has a decent screen presence and owns his part convincingly. The other two women – Vani Bhojan and Shamna Kasim – have very little to contribute.
Lock Up is a praiseworthy attempt in the investigative thriller space. It’s also one of the better Tamil films among the recent direct OTT releases. Even though the writing is amateurish at places, you don’t nitpick because the film never gets outright boring and manages to keep us engaged.
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