Movies

‘Dora’ review: In the driver’s seat

A scene from the movie   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Early in Dora, there’s a tribute to an unforgettable Rajinikanth dialogue. I was tempted to yawn – we’ve had so many references and tributes to Superstar in recent films – but Nayanthara nails it, both in terms of delivery and style. I was secretly hoping to be at Sathyam Theatre and cheering for her instead of being cocooned at a ‘special’ show.

But that wasn’t the only time I was. There are many instances later in Dora, described as a horror-thriller, when masala fare gently peeps its head, almost sheepishly, in pursuit of claps.

That, however, isn’t the sole intention of director Doss Ramasamy’s latest offering; his primary aim is to give the thrills and spooks. The storyline kickstarts with Pawalakodi (Nayanthara) and her father Vairakkanu (Thambi Ramaiah) wanting to establish a car rental business but end up buying an antique car that, well, has a past and a mind of its own.

Meanwhile, a bunch of robbers have broken into a house and the police, headed by Harrish (Harrish Uthaman), are on their lookout. Dora revolves around these ruffians and how they’re connected with the car – something that unravels well into the second half.

It really helps that the film has limited characters; there are just seven main actors. Leading them is Nayanthara, who, after the intelligent Maya, proves yet again how effortless she can be on the big screen. It is indeed difficult, especially in this script that places importance not just to the characters but even objects, but as Pawalakodi, she emerges a complete winner. It helps that she has by her side Thambiramayya, who by now seems to be able to sleepwalk such roles with utmost ease. Harrish fits the bill as a cop, while Sulile Kumar, as Mukesh Yadav, is quite competent – he even gets rewarded with some pulsating theme music (by Vivek-Mervin, who’ve also tuned the adorable ‘Enga Pora Dora’ song) and apt lighting (cinematography by Dinesh Krishnan). The downside, however, is that the spooks are few and far between – for someone expecting full-on horror – and the thrills aren’t that convincing. But when ‘Lady Superstar’ Nayanthara’s rocking the screen, is it worth complaining?

Director

Doss Ramasamy

Cast

Nayanthara, Thambiramaiyya, Harrish Uthamam, Sulile Kumar

Genre

Horror/thriller

Storyline

A father and his daughter buy an antique car that leads to an unexpected chain of events

Bottomline

Fairly engaging thanks to spirited performances

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 5:36:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/dora-review-in-the-drivers-seat/article17753126.ece

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