'Forensic' movie review: Tovino Thomas' film lacks subtlety and finesse

A still from the film 'Forensic'.  

Some opening sequences provide one a pretty accurate picture of the tone and tenor of the whole movie. Forensic opens with a rather loud, in-your-face sequence that could have become a chapter titled 'Childhood of a serial killer'.

A young boy is at a chicken shop, peering intently at the flesh being cut into pieces. The setting and the background music tells you that this is no look of curiosity, but one with a touch of evil. The following scene which shows his collection of severed chicken heads, frogs and other insects kept in glass jars in his room seals it. This lack of subtlety is something which pops its head often in the narrative.

Forensic, directed by Akhil Paul and Anas Khan, follows the mysterious disappearances of young girls from a city. Police officer Rithika Xavier (Mamta Mohandas) gets entrusted with the investigation. Medico-legal advisor Samuel John Kattukaran (Tovino Thomas), with whom she shares some uncomfortable history, joins her in the pursuit.

  • Direction: Akhil Paul and Anas Khan
  • Starring: Tovino Thomas, Mamta Mohandas
  • Storyline: Young girls mysteriously disappear from a city. A police officer and a medico-legal advisor are in pursuit of the culprit
  • Run time: 134 minutes

The writers invest much of their effort in misleading us about the true identity of the serial killer, throwing at us one red herring after another. When close to the interval, the identity is provided to us on a platter, one can easily see through the game of setting up the whole thing to make the end reveal a seemingly inconsequential character. These attempts at surprising the audience get tiring after a point that one does not feel much when the final reveal happens.

Though a lack of motive is certainly a kind of mandatory requirement for serial killers, the incidents that work as a trigger for the person to go on a killing spree hardly appear convincing here. The only thing that keeps our interest even mildly alive till then is the way the forensic expert works out some of the clues leading to the killer. The downplaying of the heroic elements and the care taken in not slipping in a needless romantic track are to the credit of the writers.

Some of the violence, especially those inflicted on children, are quite disturbing. One wished the makers were a little more sensitive in such cases, for thrills and chills can be created without actually showing that much amount of gore involving minors. The same has to be said about the relentless background score, which forces one to shield the ears at more than one point.

Forensic lacks the subtlety and finesse that separates the more effective police procedurals from the also-rans.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 8:32:13 PM |

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