Review

Nibunan review: Solid, investigative thriller that leaves you satisfied

Release Date: 28 Jul 2017


Cinestaan Rating

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Manigandan KR

Director Arun Vaidyanathan's film, which tells the story of how a CID team tracks down a dangerous criminal on a killing spree, is interesting.

Arun Vaidyanathan's Nibunan is a neat crime thriller that has an engaging storyline. The film is about the efforts of a CID team that is looking to track down a dangerous criminal, who they believe is a serial killer. 

Led by Ranjith Kalidoss (Arjun Sarja), the team comprises Joseph (Prasanna) and Vandana (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar), both of whom pretty much treat their boss as their teacher.

The team is doing exceptionally well, cracking cases and taking down dangerous criminals, till a doll lands up at the office of Ranjith Kalidoss. This is the first of several clues to a series of murders that are to take place in the city. 

Soon, a social activist is found murdered in gruesome manner. Slowly, as they unearth clues, the cops begin to understand the connection between the doll and the murder. But even before they can solve this crime comes news of another murder. The killer targets a doctor, followed by a lawyer. On each body, he leaves clues about his next victim and crime. 

As the police intensify their investigation, Ranjith Kalidoss realizes he is suffering from Parkinson's disease. The news couldn't have come at a more inappropriate time. Just as he is coming to terms with the news, Ranjith realizes that he isn't the hunter, and neither is the criminal the hunted.

The film has both positives and negatives. First, the manner in which the crimes get committed and the cops' methodology to unravel the clues are interesting and refreshing. Secondly, the film has three solid performances from actors Krishna, Prasanna and Sruthi Hariharan. Krishna, who makes only a brief appearance, steals the show.

Prasanna, too, as Joseph is impressive. Lucia girl Sruthi Hariharan delivers an impactful performance as well, raising the question why one doesn't get to see her more often in Tamil films.

Arvind Krishna's camerawork plays a big part in making the film an engaging spectacle. Every shot has appropriate lighting and the angles in which some of the scenes have been shot are fantastic.

As for the negatives, the film has some scenes that are primarily there to glorify Arjun's character. Director Arun Vaidyanathan would have done well to do away with such scenes as Nibunan is otherwise a good, serious film with solid content. 

However, the film has factual errors. For instance, there is a sequence in which Arjun's character, while interrogating a criminal, talks about the motive behind the crime. The criminal, attempting to bribe the investigator, urges him to change the charge against him to one of rape. Ranjith replies that he will not be able to do so as there are no signs of rape, and the sexual intercourse between the underaged victim and the middle-aged man seemed to be consensual. The director seems to have forgotten that intercourse with an underaged person, with or without consent, is rape in Indian law.

Arjun Sarja, who plays the lead investigator, looks tired and worn out throughout the film. He looks so exhausted that one almost feels sorry for him, even at the beginning of the film.

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar doesn't fit the bill as a police officer. Add to that the fact that she reels out her dialogues at 150 words a minute, forcing one to devote all one's energies to understanding her words than focusing on the scene. It is just annoying.

However, these are minor flaws in an otherwise commendable effort. The film by and large works well and leaves one feeling satisfied. On the whole, Nibunan is a decent effort worth a watch!