Direction : Arivazhagan
Production : Redhan—The Cinema People
Starring : Arun Vijay, Mahima Nambiar
Music : Vishal Chandrasekhar
Cinematography : Bhaskaran K. M.
Editing : Bhuvan Srinivasan
Handling different genres in his movies like Eeram, Vallinam and Aaradhu Sinam, filmmaker Arivazhagan comes up with a film ‘Kuttram 23’ loosely based on Rajesh Kumar’s novel. The film features Arun Vijay and Mahima Nambiar in lead roles.
A series of murders are happening in Chennai, where the common factors among the deceased victims are their pregnancy. Arun Vijay, assistant commissioner of police is assigned to investigate these murders, but on an unexpected turn, his very own personal life gets interwoven, leading to much more complications.
Firstly, the basic theme of this film deserves special mention as we haven’t see this complex situation happening in reality ever translated into the screens. Filmmaker Arivazhagan deserves a special mention for this attribute, especially for picking something as an inspiration from a novel written by ace personality like Rajesh Kumar. But again, when the film was promoted on the lines like ‘Medical Crime Thriller’, it exits halfway from the zone called ‘Medical’, where you don’t see much emphasis laid on it, except the basic premise. As the film travels towards the end with the suspense being revealed one by one, it becomes yet another stereotypical movie, where the intentions behind murder look unworthy of appreciations. The first hour has some engrossing moments, where the investigation process has been narrated with gripping elements. But we can easily make a guess work of right predictions on how the protagonist’s personal life is going to be affected in reflection to the investigation he is handling. Locations are supposed to be an intriguing element in a script work, but here you see a mammoth church cathedral, which is faked to be a church at Villivakkam. If such a church has to be built there in that congested busy locality, half the area should be destructed. Such mistakes furthermore hamper the intensity of this film. As the film travels to the second hour, the level of pace decreases and the reason behind the murders doesn’t fulfil the genre of ‘Medical Thriller’.
Background score by Vishal Chandrashekar deserves special mention. Thanks to director Arivazhagan for not featuring any dream songs and the few tracks come as a featured montage, which doesn’t let the screenplay stumble down anywhere. Cinematography and editing offers the support adequately for the narration.
The casting looks perfect and everyone in the star-cast have done their best. It is evident that Arun Vijay has gone through a heavy hard work to showcase his skills. Although Mahima Nambiar has good screen presence, she has nothing more to perform on the screens. It looks like director didn’t want the heroine to be out of zone and henceforth she has been dragged into the premise as a source of evidence on Crime Scene. But she lacks the substantiality out there. Thambi Ramaiah tries to evoke humour in places. Amit Bhargav is wasted. Abhinaya does her portions well. Vamsi Krishna and Aravind Akash as baddies have nothing to score much here.
1. Arun Vijay
2. First half
3. Cinematography and editing
What doesn’t work?
1. Few actors in the star-cast
2. Second half
3. The concept of ‘Medical Thriller’ not convincingly told
Overall, Kuttram 23 holds a strong plot, which goes fallible with the screenplay, especially during second half. In few places, it resembles Arivazhagan’s previous film ‘Aaradhu Sinam’ and in spite of good performance by Arun Vijay, it lacks momentum in few places.
Verdict : A film with substantial plot but stumbles with narration
Rating : 5/10
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