Director - Unnikrishnan B
Producer - Sabu Cherian
Cast - Prithviraj, Sampath, Siddique, Lalu Alex, Katherine, Riaz Khan, Subair, P Sreekumar
Music - Dharan
Cinematography - Bharani K Dharan
Editing - Manoj
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues - Unnikrishnan B
Release Date - 17th November 2010.
The latest release that calls itself 'The Thriller' does everything except thrilling you. The movie follows every cliché of every other police movie made in Malayalam, the only exception being that Prithviraj has replaced Suresh Gopi in the investigating officer's role. And yes, that makes a lot of difference. After trying to go the Mohanlal way in Thanthonni and taking refuge with Mammootty in Pokkiri Raja, Prithviraj steps into Suresh Gopi’s territory through The Thriller. And the result is out there for everyone to see. Suresh Gopi can effortlessly play a police officer’s role even in his sleep, but it is a little disturbing to see Prithviraj trying very hard to do the same.
The movie is allegedly based on the infamous Paul murder case and it also tries to connect the Kochi IPL issues along with it. A young, spoilt rich businessman Simon Palathingal is killed on a highway and conveniently, the young, dashing, honest & idealistic cop DCP Niranjan (Prithviraj) lands on the crime scene just before he dies. The Thriller tracks Niranjan’s investigation of the Simon murder case.
The movie has every cliché of a random Malayalam cop movie in place. Right from the introduction, the face-offs with superiors, the honest cop routines, the retired mentor, the estranged lover, English, innumerable stunt sequences, the surprise in the form of the main villain and of course, the thing inseparable from Malayalam Cinema – the climax fight at the godown. It is all there, the only difference is that the hero who goes through all this is not Suresh Gopi, it is Prithviraj who tries a little too hard. In fact, the movie is so predictable that I could guess the villain (the suspense at the end) in his very second scene.
Prithviraj is okay as DCP Niranjan. But his desperation to become the next superstar is very evident in his performance and the way his character has been portrayed on screen. The long drawn out, over the top fight sequences where everyone keeps flying at the lightest of his touches and all that jazz, are purposefully constructed to portray him as the next big thing. But sadly, it does not work in this movie. He looks great and delivers his lines (especially the English ones) decently. That’s all. The terrific screen presence of somebody like Suresh Gopi, especially in the police uniform, is sorely missed. Sampath is a great actor, and he plays his villain part perfectly. Siddique is always good, and he plays his clichéd character very well yet again. Lalu Alex in another clichéd character is pretty okay. The heroine Katherine Teresa is ugly and does not have a single acting bone (or muscle, whatever). (I heard the previous heroine was replaced coz’ she couldn’t act. Wah!! What a replacement!!). Riaz Khan has his regular job of getting beaten up. The guy who played the murder victim Simon, was unintentionally funny.
This has to be B Unnikrishnan’s worst movie till date. His only good movie so far has been the very clichéd, but entertaining Madambi. And out of the others which include Smart City, IG and Pramani, this has to be his worst. Even IG was mildly interesting since it had Suresh Gopi comfortably playing the honest cop role. The pace is what makes movies of this genre interesting, but The Thriller is a very slow moving boring movie which takes its own sweet time to get to the point. Unnikrishnan’s making, characterizations and narrative style, both as a writer and a director are very dated and clichéd. The only addition is that he has added a half-baked romantic angle between one of the suspects and the officer, which is again, terrible. If he does not change his style for good, there is a high chance that his films will get even worse responses than they are getting now.
Why does a movie that calls itself ‘The Thriller’ have an item song, a hero introduction song and a romantic duet? Usual Malayalam cop movies are interesting because they are paced very well with no speed-breakers in the form of songs. But this movie has a very funny introduction song for the hero, a random item song that pops in for no reason and a terrible romantic duet when the case is progressing. The background score, especially the theme track which is supposed to get our adrenalin rushing each time the hero walks in slow motion, is pathetic here. No effect whatsoever. Cinematography is strictly okay. Art Direction is terrible – the sets in the songs are straight out of the bad movies of 80s. Editing is inconsistent.
The Thriller fails in all deparments. It does not even deserve to be called a Thriller. Prithviraj should understand that superstardom will eventually come to him sooner or later and he need not try so hard to attain it. B Unnikrishnan’s movie-making style needs a drastic makeover soon. And yes, the cop roles are best left to Suresh Gopi – that man was born to play a cop. J
Rating - 2/5