Movies

'Vrithra' movie review: Starts well, but ends up as a damp squib

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Yhe latest in a series of crime and investigation thrillers Kannada cinema seems to be hooked on to in recent times

Vrithra is only the latest in a series of crime and investigation thrillers Kannada cinema seems to be hooked on to in recent times. Though the film starts promisingly, the final reveal ends up as a damp squib.

An indie crime movie set in Bengaluru mostly starring newcomers, the film has good cinematography and build-up like a noir. The film, a debut for its director Gautam Iyer R. and its lead actor Nithya Shri, holds promise for both.

Film: Vrithra (Kannada)

Director: Gautam Iyer R.

Cast: Nithya Shri, Sudharani, Prakash Belawadi

When it gets it right, the film is a good watch. The film, thankfully, doesn't drift from the case at hand — there are no songs, and no love interest for the lead actor.

The film follows a familiar arc – a crime is uncovered in the very first scene, a rookie cop is assigned to probe, in this case sub-inspector in Crime Branch Indra Rao (Nithya Shri), a few red herrings and sub-plots are introduced, and the detective faces systemic apathy. The rest of the film is about how she gets to the bottom of the case. Nithya Shri impresses in the role of a smart cop.

Like its recent predecessor Kavaludaari, the film is gripping and evokes your curiosity as a crime is uncovered and is being probed in the first half, only to run downhill from there to a reveal that is a cliche that you had seen coming a mile away.

Pawan Kumar's U Turn also suffered from a similar problem – a great first half that puts the audience on the edge of the seat only to fizzle out as it hurtles towards resolution, leaving the audience deeply dissatisfied. Writers of crime thrillers need to probably focus more on the crime at the core of the story to begin with.

What does Vrithra mean was a question that piqued the interest of many before the release of the film. It’s a mythological asura that brings drought. Vrithra seems forced into the story and used as a metaphor for a drought of human values and warmth in relationships in the city.

The film also fails to resist moralising and paints characters in white and black.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 11:52:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/vrithra-starts-well-but-ends-up-as-a-damp-squib/article29674088.ece

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