Dora: A Thriller That Lacks Danger and Excitement
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Heroism is a double-edged sword, and in Dora, Nayanthara snatches that sword from the men in the Tamil film industry and slays with her attitude and personality. While her heroism provides a refreshing change, Dora rides empty on the thrills and chills that one would undoubtedly expect from a horror film.
After taking up the monumental challenge of starting a car rental business, a strong-willed Pavazhakodi (Nayanthara) and her obedient father Vairakannu (Thambi Ramiah) set out in search of the perfect second-hand car. Soon after they reach the garage, Pavazhakodi has her heart set on a vintage classic car that calls out to her in mystical ways. As they move towards a promising start, they realize that their car has a past, and a mind of its own. The revelations they encounter, and the life-changing decisions they’re forced to make, form the rest of the story.
Dora’s narrative starts in a promising manner. Many unique and encouraging elements make their way into the storyline. But from there, the graph takes a freefall as the story gets filled with empty threats, unconvincing justifications and nullified thrills. The scares employed are mostly clichés or elements that have been overused in Tamil Cinema. A clock strikes twelve as the haunting begins, a creepy old lady, a car that looks more amusing than scary and many more such mediocre elements of thrills fall short on creating the intended impact.
When you are presented with a possessed car, the justification should be strong enough to convince the audiences. The lack of a strong and justification is what causes trouble in director Doss Ramasamy’s maiden venture. In Yaavarum Nalam, you believe that Television Devices and Mobile Phones are haunted because of the convincing reasonings and undeniably sharp thrills. But the lack of both these points is what brings down the thrill factor in a film like Dora.
Nayanthara carries off her heroic build-up quite well in some parts, but in the others, her over-the-top performance fails her. Nevertheless, her powerhouse presence in the film is felt all the way through the climax. Thambi Ramaiah’s comedy is unfunny and tests your patience. With an already lackluster narrative at hand, his jokes tend to drag down the already slow-moving narrative. Harish Uthaman has to start experimenting with a broader spectrum of roles, his range of expressions and choices of roles are growing increasingly repetitive.
Gopi Krishna’s editing lowers the eloquence of certain sequences. Too many effects are applied to scenes that don’t even require them and the scenes lack a rhythmic flow. Dinesh Krishna’s cinematography in the film is quite mediocre. His abrupt lighting patterns look staged and artificial.
The background music is unsuitable in a lot of scenes. It sets a mystical aura instead of heightening the impact of a thrilling sequence. The songs too are average and forgettable. The music, on the whole, would have been more suitable had music directors Vivek Siva and Mervin Solomon concentrated on making it more genre specific.
Overall, Dora starts off with a promising plot but rides empty on exciting thrills and chills. If all you want to witness is Nayanthara’s heroic rendering, then most definitely go for it.