Inayathalam: An Unbearably Dull Thriller
Movie Review by Trijai nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
You know a film fails its basic ambitions when the intended comedy becomes a snoozefest and the unintended comedy has its viewers roaring with laughter. Unfortunately, Inayathalam belongs to the aforementioned category. In scenes where a pun is delivered, boredom takes over, in intense scenes, you can’t help but pity the laughable execution. Directors Shankar and Suresh might have struck a heavy topic, but the package it comes in is unbearably dull.
All hell breaks loose in the Cyber Crime Division of Tamil Nadu when news of a website streaming live murders causes frenzy. As civilians get abducted and tortured, assistant commissioner Ganesh (Ganesh Venkatraman) and his team of Cyber Crime Officers are put under tremendous pressure to capture the cut-throat criminal at the earliest. From here on, their cat and mouse journey to arresting the serial killer forms the rest of the story.
From the very beginning, Inayathalam exhibits unbearably amateur staging and execution. From actors who never convince you of their purpose to a screenplay that never seems to take off, the film fails in every imaginable way. Even when you gradually acquire tolerance for the unconvincing actors, the delivery of disjointedly written dialogues leave you confused and frustrated. In one scene, CBI Officer Ganapathy (Erode Mahesh), explains the proceedings of an untraceable investigation by stating that the IP Address bounces off to a Russian server, to this his higher official asks him whether he should learn Russian. In which way are these two dialogues connected? What was the writer thinking? Such noticeably faulty writing should’ve been perfected in the rough draft itself. This same pattern of disconnected dialogues make it’s way to almost all scenes in the film.
Furthermore, Inayathalam has such poorly staged action sequences. The dummy staging of these sequences are laughable. With every kick and every move, Ganesh Venkatraman looks like he is part of a spoof. The film also majorly undermines the effectiveness of the cyber crime department. Given that even an amateur hacker can track a masked IP address these days, you would expect the Cyber Crime Unit to be more technically and intellectually sound. This realistic and intellectual perspective is what the film lacks.
Just like it is impossible to dissect a Shipwreck, it should be deemed impossible to track mistakes in Inayathalam as the film makes a significant blunder in almost every other scene. Whether it is unbearable preaching or over-stuffing of unnecessary shots, the film has a plethora of defects for you to choose from.
As Assistant Commissioner Ganesh, Ganesh Venkatraman delivers a lacklustre performance. His dialogue delivery is plastered and there is no organic rhythm to his substandard portrayal. His performance lacks the depth and conviction of a seasoned actor. Erode Mahesh’s comedy falls flat and can be easily dismissed as unfunny and boring. Even seasoned actors like Y.G Mahendran never immerse you in the film with their believable performance.
As unsettling as the amateur screenplay is the film’s inconsistent visual storytelling. Cinematographer Karthik Raja’s imagery lacks stability and creativity. Many tracking shots are out of focus, there are too many misplaced close-ups and the frame is shaky in multiple sequences. These are mistakes that should’ve been corrected by a set of replaceable takes.
On the whole, Inayathalam is an unbearably dull thriller that never manages to interest you. If you want your weekend to be even vaguely interesting, you should definitely sit this one out.