At some point while watching Lock Up , you are inclined to look at one of the lead characters Vasanth (Vaibhav), a police constable, and ask in your head: “ Neenga nallavara kettavara ?” (Are you a good or bad person?)
It is not because Lock Up gives us profound moments like Nayakan did. It is more us asking: “Why is Vasanth never fully convinced of his anti-hero abilities?” During a sequence in the climax portions, he is at pains to suggest he is a good person only to flip the switch in the next scene and do something sinister.
- Director: SG Charles
- Cast: Vaibhav, Venkat Prabhu, Easwari Rao, Poorna
- Storyline: Two dead people, two conniving men in uniform and a woman police inspector who is chasing the truth. Who prevails in the end?
Lock Up , too, swings back and forth like Vasanth. The film has a decent premise, but the plot is underdeveloped; its potential suffering heavily as a result. Dubbing frailties helps to add a ‘black mark’ (a word that is often referenced in the film) as well.
Lock Up follows the lives of sub-inspector Moorthy (Venkat Prabhu) and constable Vasanth (Vaibhav). There is also Ilavarasi (Easwari Rao), a hard-nosed police inspector who is put in charge of the station the two men work at after the previous inspector, Sampath (Mime Gopi), is murdered.
Impressive, though, is Venkat Prabhu. In his comeback as an actor, the filmmaker nudges Moorthy along subtly in a subdued, but balanced performance. Maybe, having a limited scope in terms of emotions required of Moorthy’s character affords Venkat Prabhu a comfort zone. What was disappointing, however, was the way Easwari Rao’s character is sketched. She displays enough grit to make us believe in Ilavarasi’s investigating abilities but the crime seems to solve itself without needing her intervention. It is confounding to watch it play out.
The biggest drawback was the many single shade characters and the simplistic nature of the setups and plot diversions that keeps the story moving. For a movie that aspires to be serious, and has lead characters who consistently wear a serious face throughout its runtime, these are factors that end up undermining the film.
It offers ‘a thought-provoking moment’ about the police department (to be filed under the ‘social message’ column). But when you make errors — like a cop picking up a supposed murder weapon by hand, to more substantial logical loopholes like a lead character convincingly flying under the radar despite being stabbed twice (this is bothersome only since the film does little to suspend reality) — maybe it was best to go back to the drawing board and iron out the flaws within.
‘Lock Up’ is streaming on Zee5