Movies

‘Cadaver’ movie review: Amala Paul’s murder mystery doesn’t grip you, but there are positives

A still from ‘Cadaver’

A still from ‘Cadaver’

The first few sequences of Cadaver sets up the milieu and its characters quite well. An irritated Michael (Munishkanth) is trudging his way into a mortuary, mulling over a case that has become complicated. Inside, it is a little damp and dark and more importantly, smells awful. So awful that Michael has to pull out his handkerchief and cover both his nose and mouth. How do you even work here, he mutters to himself, as he strides forward carefully lest the many corpses lying there are disturbed from their peaceful slumber.

It's not a place you'd like to visit. It's not a place you'd like to even spend a few minutes in.

But it is the place where we see Dr Bhadra (Amala Paul) for the first time. There, amidst the many dead bodies and the surrounding stench, she's eating, almost like she was casually devouring a mini-tiffin in a restaurant. She offers Michael some food. He is aghast.

They're both up against a new case, one that is going to rob them of some peace and sleep. In a forest away from the city is an abandoned car and a corpse. Elsewhere, Dr Salim Rahman, a prominent person in the city, has gone missing, and that leads us to the story of a prisoner (Vetri) and his late wife, Angel.

Who are Vetri and Angel and what's their connection to the case?

Cadaver
Cast: Amala Paul, Harish Uthaman, Munishkanth
Director: Anoop Panicker
Storyline: A police surgeon gets involved in a case involving a murder

Cadaver wants to be a whodunit, but the tension never really hits you. While the filmmaking is decent in a few places, especially during the times that the case is progressing fast, it is also downright amateurish at times (sample this: when a startling revelation is made, thunder strikes and the characters actually look surprised.)

An unexpected friendship that comes up in the second half develops too quickly, and the violence showcased is probably more graphic and detailed than it ought to have been. These aspects big down Cadaver, but the twist in the end sort of salvages it.

Amala Paul is focussed and sincere in the procedural moments but lacks depth in the film's emotional sequences. One wishes there was more effort there. Cadaver isn't a one-woman show though Amala Paul (who is also its producer) gets much of the screenspace; there are also some supporting characters like Harish Uthaman whose presence registers. There's also nice music (Ranjin Raj), though the songs do not greatly aid in taking the story forward. Anoop Panicker's Cadaver has several predictable moments, but there are some sequences where it shows promise. If only it had more of them....

Cadaver is streaming on Disney+Hotstar


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Printable version | Aug 13, 2022 11:28:39 am | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/cadaver-movie-review-amala-pauls-murder-mystery-doesnt-grip-you-but-there-are-positives/article65761449.ece