Triplicane, or Thiruvallikeni, is among the most interesting neighbourhoods in Chennai. Full of small lanes and bustling roads, the area is famous for two important religious institutions: the Big Mosque, and the Parthasarathy Temple.
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They are both significant worship places for the Muslim and Hindu community in the city.
It is in Triplicane that actor Vishnu Vishal’s latest, FIR, begins. Irfan Ahmed, a gold medalist in Chemistry from IIT, works in a small firm, but is looking out for offers. He keeps attending job interviews, which invariably end up with the question: Are you religious? His mother works with the police, and his tryst with the police station is limited to the time he brings food for his mother. He has a group of friends, a girlfriend who is in a different city, and is the quintessential Chennai youngster you would meet on the road.
He is Muslim and proud of that. This could be a rather small detail in a person’s life, but when he is caught in what is perceived to be a big terror threat to the city, what happens?
Director Manu Anand’s FIR delves deep into the working of investigative agencies, which are on the lookout for a man, Aboobucker Abdullah, who poses a threat to the peace of the nation. So, who is Aboobucker Abdullah and what is his connection with the protagonist, Irfan?
- Director: Manu Anand
- Cast: Vishnu Vishal, Gautham Menon, Manjima Mohan, Raiza Wilson
- Storyline: A chemical engineer gets connected with an act of terrorism. Can he come out of it?
FIR ’s strength and weakness are somehow the same thing: its speed. With multiple cities like Chennai, Bangalore and Kochi being showcased within a few minutes, this racy script might be a little tough to follow for people who are used to gentler, slower films. Various characters get introduced, and before you can register them, the film moves on to another character, another location. But the speed keeps the viewer interested, which could well work in its favour in the theatres, which are finding it hard to draw audiences who are used to consuming content in the comfort of their homes on OTT platforms.
Vishnu Vishal has certainly grown as an actor in recent times. Post the thrilling Ratsasan , which was a wonderful theatrical experience in 2018, he seems to have become a lot more serious about the craft of cinema. As Irfan, he delivers a sincere performance; one that successfully conveys the flutter between ambition and anguish.
Gautham Menon gets a role that requires more presence than nuance, and he does the job. To the director’s credit, he also tries to showcase three female characters (played by Manjima Mohan, Raiza Wilson and Reba Monica John)… that they get at least one solid scene each augurs well for the film. How they all come together in their own ways in the final explanation, is among the highlights of the film.
Also helping them are the technical department; Prasanna GK’s editing, Arul Vincent’s cinematography and composer Ashwath’s score, all upping the tension on screen. Despite being a thriller, FIR also manages to throw in some powerful moments, but could have done well to avoid some unnecessary over the-top elements that seem to dilute its core premise in the first place.
FIR is currently running in theatres