After establishing himself through comedy films and breezy entertainers, its going to be a change of guard for director Midhun Manuel Thomas as he forays into a new territory through his sixth film as a director. Anchaam Pathiraa, a crime thriller is well presented doing justice to the smartly written screenplay that keeps the mystery element in the story till the closing stages.
A series of murder that too involving people from the police force rocks Kochi. Police after each murder gets no clue whatsoever about the killer or his intentions or motive behind the killing leading only to dead ends. A psychologist Anwar Hussain played by Kunchacko Boban also is brought as a consultant criminologist to assist in the investigation. Anchaam Pathiraa is all about the hide-and-seek game between the investigation team and the serial killers and how the case is finally cracked.
A basic requirement for any mystery thriller is for the makers to ensure that the critical suspense element doesn’t get revealed in the plot way too soon. On that task, the film is successful in retaining the key aspects in the plot until the proper time comes up. The disclosure was well timed that ensured one thing which is to keep the audience guessing and keep them on the edge of their seat for the most part. I would say the effectiveness in screenplay reflected at many areas and made sure no loopholes remained at any moment.
The backstory that’s part of the story and shown during the culminating phase was convincing enough and made it look a proper and strong one to support the motives behind everything being unfolded. Actually the marks should go to the screenplay written by the director himself in covering various aspects that could go wrong and at the same time retaining the suspense part. The audience at the halfway mark can think about various probabilities and angles to the murders but at no stage the film gives any hindsight about the real motive and who the murderers are except when it was time to show everything. The opening sequence itself where Psychologist Anwar visiting a jail to talk with Ripper Ravi and the way in which he describes about his ecstasy in crime and watching people dying sets up a good tempo for the film. A dark mood is maintained right through especially in the first half that continue the same way and an emotionally convincing latter half is what we witness overall in the film.
The pacing of the whole narrative, the investigation happening, how the film ended at the halfway mark and how it progressed from there were all leading to one conclusion. And that is the director’s firm grip and control over the whole proceedings. Treatment of the whole plot was done in a manner so that engagement factor doesn’t gets beaten or affected at any place. We are at a stage where we are exposed to high quality murder thrillers from various languages. I have been a very limited watcher of foreign films but for those who have got the chance to see a huge number of international films of this genre might be able to correctly cook up some of the important threads in the story. But for me it was an engaging and interesting watch from the starting line till the end credits started rolling down.
Anchaam Paathiraa is not a performance oriented film and is a screenplay driven one depending on the execution. Everyone who was selected to perform a role have done their part doing justice to their respective characters. Be it Kunchacko Boban as Anwar Hussain or Jinu Joseph as the ACP or Unnimaaya Prasad as the head of the investigating team or Sreenath Bhasi as the hacking specialist assisting the police force.
Shyju Khalid’s impressive camera work and his shots gave the film a totally different tone on the visual side. Thrillers without proper background score is like a man in the snowfall without a jacket. Sushin Shyam’s BGM was strong enough that aided various scenes to get the right mood they demanded. I was also impressed with the overall sound design of the film. Saiju Sreedharan’s editing was tight enough to keep the narrative crispy and ensuring that this department lived up to what the other technical side had done.
Reviewed by Chandra Mohan gopinath