Imaikka Nodigal: An Average Thriller That Could’ve Been So Much More
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Directed by R Ajay Gnanamuthu, Imaikka Nodigal is a thriller film starring Nayanthara, Atharva, Anurag Kashyap and Raashi Khanna in lead roles. One more Friday passes by with a promise of yet another thriller, a genre that Tamil cinema seems to be obsessed with of late. So, does this one live up to the hype? Partially it does, but mostly, the film disappoints. The premise and the plot of this thriller possess great potential. But because of a strenuously long runtime and the presence of one too many logical loopholes, this thriller resorts to being average. Imaikka Nodigal provides entertainment. It also begins in a promising manner. But as time progresses, the pace and thrill of the chase go bland, leaving you impatient.
Set in Bengaluru, Imaikka Nodigal follows CBI officer, Anjali Vikramadithyan (Nayanthara) in her mission to capture Rudhra (Anurag Kashyap), a ruthless serial killer. While CBI was under the impression that Rudhra’s case had been closed many years ago, his latest victims lead the CBI force to think that he is back. Only this time, he becomes all the more notorious as he goes after Anjali’s family too. The cat and mouse chase that follows and the lengths Anjali is forced to go to in order to protect her family forms the crux of the story.
One of the foremost reasons why you immediately get drawn to a thriller like Imaikka Nodigal is its no-nonsense approach to filmmaking. It jumps right into the story and wastes no time in taking us through multiple ‘mass-flavored’ hero introduction shots. This is why what follows later on comes as a complete disappointment. The pacing in the first twenty minutes of the film is just perfect. You are taken through Anjali’s mission and introduced to Rudhra whose terrorizing presence makes you sit tight and feel anxious about what is going to happen next.
But right as the film hits the twenty-minute mark, you are introduced to Anjali’s brother Arjun Prabhakar who slows the film down as he convolutes the screenplay with one useless distraction after another. His track, in particular, makes you wonder why the director settled for such a conventional approach. Conventional how? Well, most Tamil films have followed a formula to approach character development. Whether or not necessary, they go on to explore each character’s background and their love stories. Imaikka Nodigal takes up this formulaic approach to develop Arjun’s character too. Even though his love interest or background has no clear connection to the story, the director wastes thirty minutes with two duets and many more silly anecdotes from the said characters love life. This takes away from the crisp pacing of the film.
After a while, the fascinating villain tries hard to reinstate the film to its former glory. Just as his efforts are about to bear fruit, many logical loopholes present themselves and leave you feeling confused. For instance, even after receiving a shooting order for a particular character, why do the officers just chase him instead. Another crucial loophole can be found in Anjali’s flashback where one key detail is carelessly left out. No explanations are given to you until the end. Even the climax portions of the film seem to have been executed much too hastily. With the king of Tamil thriller novels, Pattukottai Prabhakar by the director’s side, one can’t help but wonder why such obvious flaws are overlooked in a tale that has great potential.
Nayanthara steps into Anjali Vikramadithyan’s shoes quite effortlessly. She holds her close-ups in many key scenes and carries herself with a lot of stylishness. Atharva’s acting is sub-par and he has nothing significant to do in the first half. As Rudhra, Anurag Kashyap is a dream. His admirable acting ability is the reason the film can even be deemed average. But the fact that he hasn’t dubbed for himself is a drawback. His acting coupled with director Magizh Thirumeni’s voice never takes an organic flow. It feels quite artificial throughout and this slices off a few dimensions from his character’s personality.
Hip-hop Thamizha’s music proves to be adequate and R.D Rajasekhar’s visuals are definitely state-of-the-art.
On the whole, Imaikka Nodigal could’ve been so much more. But because of its hasty execution, overlong runtime, and multiple logical loopholes, it is merely an average thriller.