Chennai, 13 Apr 2019 15:00 IST
When you take Bruno, a furry Golden Retriever in a pivotal role, out of action, there’s hardly anything worthy of discussing in the film.
Filmmaker AL Vijay has managed to make and release at least one film every year since the release of his 2010 breakout film Madrasapattinam, and with each outing since then his form has been deteriorating.
The promos of his latest film Watchman, starring GV Prakash Kumar and a furry Golden Retriever in a pivotal role, created quite the hype, but unfortunately the film is nothing more than a generic invasion thriller that could have offered so much more but settles for very less.
The plot revolves around one day in the life of the film’s protagonist (GV Prakash Kumar), who has until the next day morning to settle the borrowed amount from a loan shark. He reaches out to his friends for help and when he finally runs out of options and time, he finds a secluded bungalow to rob. Unfortunately, his plans to enter the bungalow fail miserably when he encounters a dog which comes in his way. But little does he know that the dog actually seeks his help to save its master (Suman, a former DIG of Police), who is holed up inside the house with dreaded gangsters after his life.
The plot of Watchman sounds exciting and has a lot of scope for some edge-of-the-seat moments. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t rise above some really bland and generic thrills.
If not for the antics of the extremely well-trained dog Bruno, who is undoubtedly the star of the film, this would’ve been a tiresome watch. Bruno is the film’s biggest saving grace and thumbs up to the makers for choreographing some really cool action sequences involving the dog.
When you take Bruno out of action, there’s hardly anything worthy of discussing in the film. Most of the story unfolds in a single night and scenes between Prakash, Suman and the terrorists lack the tension that usually elevates such invasion thrillers. Despite their earnest performances, Prakash and Suman really can’t save this film from turning out to be a damp squib.
Prakash and Vijay have so much in common. Both have done more projects than expected in the last couple of years and have succeeded in disappointing on multiple occasions. At least Prakash has the musical drama Sarvam Thaalammayam (2019), which was genuinely good in parts and went down as one of his best performances in recent years. Vijay, on the other hand, has been struggling with his form but still manages to finish a film every six months.
Watchman could’ve been a kick-ass invasion thriller, a genre Tamil cinema hasn’t quit tapped into yet. The film does get elevated at times; courtesy a gripping score by Prakash. If only the writing wasn’t this lackluster, the film would’ve really made for a thrilling watch.
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