Coli film review: An ineffective murder-mystery that prioritizes style over substance

A scene from ‘Coli’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Together coli A locked-room murder mystery based on a real-life unsolved murder (the 1923 murder of Dot King), and featuring a star often credited To set right public sensibilities, The Promise was an interesting film worth investing your time in. It’s a simple story told through a classic whodunit structure; After singer-model Leela (Meenakshi Chowdhary) is mysteriously murdered inside her home, two detectives (Vijay Antony and Ritika) follow up to trace all possible suspects. Leela’s singer-boyfriend Satish (Siddharth Shankar) is the first, but he has a strong alibi. Bablu (Kishore Kumar, comedian in the film), Leela’s harassing ex-manager; Arjun (Arjun Chidambaram), a top fashion photographer, who is accused of physical harassment; and a perverted modeling head (Murli Sharma) with questionable pretenses and solid intentions are the other prime suspects.

coli (Tamil)

director: Balaji Kumar

mold: Vijay Antony, Ritika Singh, Meenakshi Chowdhary, Murli Sharma, Siddharth Shankar, and others

Order: 127 minutes

Story: Two detectives investigate the mysterious murder of a popular singer-model.

Firstly, director Balaji K Kumar doesn’t hide how quickly he wants to get into the story. The explanatory dialogues kill half the excitement before you get used to his distinctive style of storytelling. In the first shot of police constable Sandhya Mohanraj (Ritika), we are told that she is a top student of a detective named Vinayak. Vinayak (Vijay) is introduced as the shrewd and shrewd Sherlock who hesitates to get back into the fray, and when we meet his wife, she immediately tells us about their relationship status and their child Who is in critical condition in the hospital. road accident. When the detectives meet Inspector Mansoor Ali Khan (John Vijay) of the police station, he is the typical pervert and immoral slacker from the start.

Multiple timelines are bridged by using dialogue as transitions, and although it sounds like a cool move, it’s unfortunate that it’s the only technique that makes any impact; The dialogues keep us at arm’s length from what is happening on the screen, just like the narrative style and the world it is set in.

The scene changes and use of surrealistic metaphors also follow a similar pattern. It’s promising to see the idea behind each of these carefully sketched and programmed images, but you can’t help but wonder why they only underline what’s already been said. The miss en scene grabs our attention more, mainly because Balaji clearly tries hard to take us into a world that is never able to completely pull us in. The film is based in a fictional place called Madras, imbued with the spirit of Chennai; It also partly feels like a manifestation of the future Chennai that Balaji envisions.

But nothing really sticks to the mind, which makes both the world and the people who live in it seem plastic and lifeless. It is disappointing that the acting and dialogue delivery also do not help sell the emotions of the characters. While it is commendable that Vijay Antony is exploring such genres and settings, the film offers nothing interesting to the actor in him, ultimately becoming a staple whodunit with no attempt to subvert anything.

Having said all that, Balaji Kumar is definitely an interesting filmmaker to watch. It’s not every day you get to see Tamil films with such transitions and techniques; Reconstructing a place from a reverse shot and taking it back in time, with one character in the frame being frozen in time to allow others to interact.

However what emerges as a clear winner is the music. Girish Gopalakrishnan steals the show and the main theme (a remix of 1964 ‘Partha Nyabgam Ilaiyo’) Puthia Parwai) haunts you for hours after the movie.

coli is currently playing in theaters