Connect with us

Exclusive Premium Content

Por Thozhil ,Applause Entertainment’s Taut ,Thrilling Tamil Debut



Por Thozhil

Por Thozhil(Tamil)

Rating: *** ½

The writing in Por Thozhil, a serialkiller police procedural with  balls brains and brio , is so focused and original, it feels like a first(which it is , considering this is Applause Entertainment’s  first foray in Tamil  Cinema) although we have seen so many films in this chilling genre, right  from the time when Hannibal Lectar inspired Raman Raghav , and Anurag Kashyap made a  career  out of bloodthirsty sagas soaked in blood and marionated in mayhem.

Por Thozhil is neither  over-violent nor does it trip over its own smartness. The  two principal actors play against one another with restraint .And the background score doesn’t burn up the  non-visual space.

 There is something solidly engaging about Por Thozhil’s  fabulous  deconstruction of  the formulaic cinema. Consider  the core cast.Sarath Kumar and Ashok Selvan make perfect fits as  the cantankerous unfriendly  cynical senior cop Lokanathan (about whom a  doctor says , “I’d rather graze cows than  treat such  people”) and  a shaky rookie Prakash who learns the  ropes from the  senior who  initially  refuses pointblank to mentor  the  novice.

Also along for the bumpy but riveting ride from Chennai  to  Trichy is  another charming junior cop Veena( Nikhila  Vimla). I am not too sure what her function is  in the police procedural except to drop a hint of a romance with Prakash. Luckily,there are  no romantic diversions , no  love songs… The  taut plot  sticks  to  the point  on hand.

And we are never shortchanged  by the screenplay.The pace seldom slackens except for the occasional banter between characters who need to loosen up  during the  relentless pursuit of  the  killer  on  the prowl.

The  film opens  with two cops driving down a dark road with one grumbling to  the other that  he  doesn’t get time to have sex  with his  new wife  because  of his night duty.The exchange has little relevance  to the  cat-and-mouse chase that follows, except to remind us that cops lead a completely  unplanned  life.

The  proceedings never give up on being engaging.We are tirelessly tangled in the web of  murder, and when the killer is  revealed  midway , the writing goes off  in pursuit of  an unforeseen twist that takes us  dragging and kicking to the  end.

What  I found disturbing the killers’  backstory. They seem to  be  constructed to  provide  a justification  for their brutality. There is  a conversation on this tendency to humanize psychopathic behaviour between Lokanathan and Prakash which ends with the best line  in the film: “Not all troubled children grow up to be killers. Some of  them become cops.”

To this we may add, not all serial-killer films engage the audience  till the end. But this one most certainly does.

Continue Reading