Dora review: Doss Ramasamy's heroine-centric horror film is reasonably entertaining 

Release Date: 31 Mar 2017 / Rated: A

Cinestaan Rating

Manigandan KR

Though Nayanthara and Thambi Ramaiah deliver commendable performances, Dora only entertains in parts

Vairakannu (Thambi Ramaiah) is a retired pensioner whose world revolves around his daughter Pavalakodi (Nayanthara). The daughter though, is assertive to the point of being dominating. Although Vairakannu loves his daughter wholeheartedly, he is also to some degree scared of her.

Vairakannu's biggest concern is his daughter's wedding. He wants to see her married and settled happily, but she is worried that marriage would mean that she will have to leave her father all alone.

In the hope of getting his daughter to change her mind and consider wedding proposals, Vairakannu insists that Pavalakodi accompany him on a visit to the temple of their family deity. She agrees and Vairakannu is delighted. But when he visits his sister and brother-in-law, who run a call taxi service, in the hope that they will offer one of their cabs for the temple visit, they insult Vairakannu. Seeing this, Pavalakodi vows to start a call taxi business of her own. 

Looking around for their first car, the father-daughter duo consider several second-hand cars before Pavalakodi experiences an affinity for a really old model. She buys it as a spur of the moment decision. 

Having bought the car, the duo start their call taxi business as planned. But to their dismay, they witness a series of strange developments and soon come face to face with the presence of supernatural elements in their new car. They also learn that it wasn't that they chose their car, but rather the car which actually chose them.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the city, a woman, who has only recently got married, is brutally raped and murdered by three thieving criminals. The cops begin their hunt for the criminals only to find that the rapists are being killed one by one.

Who is killing the rapists? Why did the car choose Pavalakodi and her dad? What is the supernatural element present inside the car? Answers to these questions and many more are presented in the film, which is enjoyable in parts.

The film has three really strong actors in Nayanthara, Thambi Ramaiah and Harish Uthaman.

Thambi Ramaiah comes up with a brilliant performance as an affectionate father whose daughter's welfare means the world to him. His character in this film is tricky. While on the one hand he needs to showcase himself as a doting dad, he also needs to come across as a funny man with childlike behaviour. He needs to be authoritative, and also he has to come across as being eager to please his daughter. The National Award winner shows why he is rated highly in the industry as a character artiste with this excellent performance.

As always, Nayanthara plays her part to perfection. The lady has been so consistent with delivering good performances that now one almost expects it of her.

Harish Uthaman as the cop investigating the crimes looks every bit the part.

The music by Vivek-Mervin is apt and a big plus for the film, as are cinematographer Dinesh Krishnan's visuals.

But not everything about the movie is great. The movie, which is funny in the first half, turns boring post-interval with predictable sequences. The story per se isn't very convincing and the manner in which Pavalakodi overcomes certain problems comes across as being childish, if not comical. Dora is supposed to be a horror film but for all practical reasons, there is not one sequence that even comes close to scaring you.

In all, Dora does leave one entertained, but only in parts.