‘Abraham Ozler’ movie review: A serial killer pursuit that fizzles out soon

The Jayaram-starrer is marred by generic treatment to the serial killer genre, with a cameo from superstar Mammootty offering only a temporary relief

January 11, 2024 05:52 pm | Updated January 12, 2024 03:25 pm IST

Jayaram in ‘Abraham Ozler’.

Jayaram in ‘Abraham Ozler’. | Photo Credit: Nerambokku/YouTube

Serial killers, especially in our movies, leave a written clue at the crime spot for the investigator to pursue. Without someone to follow the lead and grudgingly appreciate their intelligence, half the kick they get from the act would be gone. For a serial killer committing such acts as revenge, leaving such clues and letting the investigator figure out a pattern appears to be compulsory, even when the revenge takes a backseat at times.

The serial killer in Midhun Manuel Thomas’ Abraham Ozler is no different, although, in this film, he leaves something other than the frequently used Bible quotes. This generic template is one of the many boxes Abraham Ozler, written by Randheer Krishnan, ticks. For one, there is the brooding police investigator Abraham Ozler (Jayaram), who is yet to recover from the disappearance of his wife and daughter some years ago. Hallucinatory visions appear before the insomniac Ozler early on in the movie, before the scriptwriter forgets this particular facet of the character and lets him run free with the investigation.

Abraham Ozler (Malayalam)
Director: Midhun Manuel Thomas
Cast: Jayaram, Jagadeesh, Anaswara Rajan, Mammootty, Arya Salim, Senthil Krishna
Runtime: 144 minutes
Storyline: The story revolves around the professional and personal life of veteran cop Abraham Ozler, who is on a hunt to nab a serial killer.

The murder of an IT employee inside a hospital kicks off the investigation. A couple of more murders take place in the same fashion. More murders are sure to happen, evident from the clues left behind by the killer, even as Ozler and his team struggle to find the common thread that connects the victims.

Certain intriguing elements are present in the script, but it all plays out tamely on the screen. Halfway through the narrative, even these elements fizzle out, as more than half of the puzzle is solved by then.

The rest of the film is a painful wait for the what and why to be told to us in a long-winded flashback story that does not hit us hard. Mammootty generates some excitement in an extended cameo, but even this does not provide the expected high to the film, which by then had hit a trough from which there was no upswing.

Quite a few scenes are clumsy while the dialogues are shoddily written, unlike Thomas’ previous directorial Anjaam Pathiraa, which also had a serial killer plot. Just like that movie, Abraham Ozler is also a medical thriller with surgeons and forensic experts speaking at length about many things. Some of these revelations do not sound earth-shattering.

The protagonist’s struggles, in the end, appear as a mere embellishment for the character, as they are not dealt with in detail until the epilogue, which leaves hints of a sequel. But, whether there will be enough material for a sequel of a film that just about struggles to reach the finish line is another question. The serial killer template needs some serious updating.

Abraham Ozler is currently running in theatres.

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