Richie: Nivin Pauly makes confident strides into Kollywood with this film, otherwise marred by slow narration
Movie Review by Anirudh Madhav (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Richie, the remake of the Kannada film Ulidavaru Kadanthe, is a slightly different take on the original version. It has more complex characterization and the film’s running time has been reduced in the Tamil version. The movie has its set of flaws, but Nivin Pauly makes a bold entry in Kollywood with this neo-noir crime film.
The movie begins with journalist Megha (Shraddha Srinath) convincing her editor to write a story on events that took place in Manapad, a coastal village Thoothukudi. What follows is the narration of events from the perspective of different people who were either involved or witnessed an incident revolving a missing bag of relics.
Director Gautham Ramachandran puts up a brave act by casting the ‘hero’ Richie (Nivin Pauly) for only about 12 minutes in the first half of the movie. He has tried to crunch the narrative into less than a two-hours but has failed in bringing out the depth of major characters in this interwoven plot, something that the original film had beautifully executed.
Richie’s (Nivin Pauly) character maintains an amazing swag throughout the movie. He excels as the paan-chewing, carefree person who breaks into a jig every time he listens to Tamil songs. Nivin Pauly’s Malayalam accent is pretty evident, though the director does manage to cover it up partly with English dialogues. Selva (Natty) and Raghu (Raj Bharath) are given ample screen space and they make their presence felt. Prakash Raj, who plays Richie’s father, gives out an impressive performance and maintains a calm demeanor throughout the film. The lead actress Megha hardly gets to share any screen space with Richie and the spark between them is missing.
Music by Ajaneesh Loknath plays a major role in elevating the mood of the movie. Right from Richie’s entry theme to the final showdown, the music is distinctive. The soundtrack that establishes the romance between Selva and Philomena (Lakshmipriya) is soothing and breezy. The music is quite in sync with the narration in most parts of the film except in couple of places where it is too loud and has overshadowed the dialogues.
The combination of the camerawork and cinematography by Pandi Kumar S makes the shots look magical especially owing to the use of various color tones. However, a few slow-motion shots have hampered the pace of the narrative.
More emphasis on getting Richie’s Tamil accent right and an in-depth characterization would have made this movie a great crime film. Devoid of any romantic sequences, on-your-face comedy and typical dance and song numbers, the film might appear a bit of a drag for those who love the commercial Tamil cinema.