Cold Case review: Falls Short of being a great whodunit!

Cold Case Review: Falls Short of being a Great Whodunit!

Producers: Anto Joseph, Jomon T. John and Shameer Mohammad

Director: Tanu Balak

Cast: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Aditi Balan, Chinnu, Suchitra Pillai, Athmeeya Rajan, Anil Nedumangadi and Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli

Streaming on: Amazon Prime Video

Cold Case is yet another very conventional premise of a dead person seeking justice from beyond the grave or, in this case, from a rickety fridge. The film opens predictably with sequences of several mumbo jumbo rituals of exorcism followed by different religions. The director expects the viewers to lap all these up as a part of an “investigative” news report about how the dead use the living as the medium to bring those who have wronged them to justice.

The film is the depiction of a story of a complex murder case, which is investigated by Trivandrum’s most capable officer- ACP Satyajit, played by Prithviraj. As the layers of the case are peeled off, the chills of the supernatural render a regular murder-mystery a cold turn. Navigating through this bizarre investigation, ACP Satyajith and investigative journalist Medha Padmaja , played by Aditi Balan, cross paths to uncover unimaginable secrets. The film begins on a crucial note of a fisherman hauling in a garbage bag, which holds a mutilated skull. The incident captures the media’s attention, forcing the police department to dedicate its best resources to the case.

Several Pandora’s boxes of a mysterious cold blooded homicide open when the ACP Satya starts unraveling the case. When a skull is found in a discarded package, the police must start from identifying the victim, to find out the motive and the culprit. It makes for an interesting and unique premise.

Right now, post Corona 19 assault, it is only thrillers, and paranormal ones at that, seem to be the genre of choice for Malayalam filmmakers at this time. The Cold Case is no exception to the rule. It is sad that while cinematographer turned director Tanu Balak moves the story along at a steady  as well as bland pace and you are curious to see what happens next, the two narratives in this story, scripted by Sreenath V Nath, actually are at tangent with one another and don’t really gel. You have no other palpable alternative but to paraphrase what Satyajit says at the end, that you are either inclined to go with logic or with a belief in an outside power.

As far as performances go, I should say that undoubtedly Prithviraj plays his role in his usual pitch perfect style, with aplomb though at times it does seem that the actor is just sleepwalking through his role with his stylish physique. Aditi Balan does her role well and syncs with her role as a divorcee with a daughter. Laxmipriya Chandramouli deserves credit for having injected her best into her challenging role while Suchitra Pillai has just been wasted in a role as an exorcist which does not deserve her presence at all. Credit ought to go to the two top line cinematographers, Gireesh Gangadharan and Jomon T John, who is also one of the producers of the film, ensure that the scenes are framed classily, with even the creepy moments being not at all over-the-top. Music by Prakash Alex also feels just right though one becomes restless and is forced to resort to one’s cursor or remote control, when the song suddenly brings to a break the languid storyline.On the whole, if you are a fan of Prithviraj Sukumaran, I’d advise you to watch the film but it is just a one time watch and not a great whodunit or for that matter an outstanding paranormal thriller .

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