Review Tamil

Kolaigaran review: An engaging investigative thriller with solid twists

Release Date: 07 Jun 2019 / Rated: U/A / 01hr 50min

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Haricharan Pudipeddi

Loosely based on the widely popular Japanese novel, The Devotion of Suspect X, the film is centered on the perfect cover-up of a murder and the subsequent investigation. 

Actor Vijay Antony can finally breathe a sigh of relief. His latest outing, Kolaigaran, which comes after a string of flops and bad films, is his best work since Pichaikkaran (2016); and there are no second thoughts about it. Loosely based on the widely popular Japanese novel, The Devotion of Suspect X, the film is centered around the perfect cover-up of a murder and the subsequent investigation to find out who actually committed the crime. While Kolaigaran borrows the central idea, it flips it over with a very emotional sub-plot which really works in the film’s favour.

When a mother and her daughter are suspected in the gruesome murder of a young victim called Vamsi, their neighbor comes forward to take the blame. While Arjun Sarja plays the investigating officer Karthikeyan, Vijay Antony plays the neighbor, Prabhakaran, who is more than what one can make of him. As Karthikeyan starts to investigate who actually killed Vamsi, he learns some interesting things about Prabhakaran and convinces him to believe he might be the culprit.   

Unlike Jeethu Joseph’s Drishyam (2013), which was also based on the same novel, Kolaigaran doesn’t reveal the killer until the end. It merely teases us with two probable ways in which the murder could have happened and uses the suspense to elevate the pay-off in the climax. Most of the story is centered on its two primary characters – played by Vijay Antony and Arjun – and the film plays out like a battle of wits between a determined police officer and a highly intelligent man.

As a protagonist who is mostly seen brooding throughout the film, Vijay Antony couldn’t have played his character any better. It is a refreshing departure from his recent roles where he unnecessarily tried to showcase heroism only to fall flat. As an actor who has openly acknowledged his limitations, he really plays Prabhakaran with restraint and it really suits his character. In another film playing another character, his performance would’ve been judged, but not here because he shines in the role even with limitations.

For a thriller to work, it needs to keep its audiences at the edge of their seats. Kolaigaran is not only engaging but also gives viewers a chance to step into the shoes of its lead characters. As it presents multiple scenarios that could have led to the murder, one can’t help but try solving the case. Arjun, as the investigating officer, is a smart addition to the cast and makes his part look easy with a convincing performance.

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