Abraham Ozler, the new thriller directed by Midhun Manuel Thomas, which pretty much marks a comeback of Jayaram, is a mixed-bag thriller that tries really hard to work on its generic beats. While Midhun may have said in the promotional interviews that the movie isn’t something similar to Anjaam Paathiraa, as a viewer, you can sense a similar tone in how the film is treated visually and on a writing level. With some pivotal moments having the scale and style suitable for a theater design, Abraham Ozler is definitely passable, but nothing particularly remarkable.
So the movie is about Abraham Ozler, Thrissur ACP, who is going through a really rough patch in his life after he lost his wife and daughter three years ago. While he was in the process of recovering from the mental trauma, he was given this case of the murder of an IT employee who got murdered inside a hospital while he was under treatment. Soon, the deaths in a similar pattern increased, and Ozler and the team realized that they were behind a serial killer. The team’s efforts to find out the real culprit behind all these is what we see in Midhun Manuel Thomas’ Abraham Ozler.
SPOILERS AHEAD! The way the dialogues are written and how all of that is rendered has that forcefully dramatic tone, which, in a way, feels like a deliberate attempt to amplify the typical thrills in the movie’s situations. This is something that I felt about the last investigative thriller Midhun Manuel Thomas wrote, Garudan. If you have an opinion that Garudan, directed by Arun Varma, is an exceptionally well-made thriller, I would say Ozler will definitely entertain you. The character-reveal that happens in the second half opens up a flashback subplot that really takes a long time to finish, and the issue was that we weren’t really discovering anything new with that retro backstory. Pretty much all the details in that backstory have a verbal version in the movie’s present track.
Written by Dr. Randheer Krishnan, the movie gives you hope that something extremely authentic about the medical profession will unravel in the film. But rather than the MO of the killer, everything else about this thriller has a typical texture. Even an Anjaam Paathiraa was ultimately a revenge story. But in that movie, the placement of the backstory was crisp, and Midhun even utilized subtle details in that backstory to create impressive twists. In Abraham Ozler also, one can see a similar structure in the fulfillment of the revenge. But the writing of those areas felt extremely predictable, or I would rather say the wow factor was missing since we expect something of that sort to happen. The cinematography by Theni Eswar is largely using the color palette and shadowy lighting to depict emotions. The background score by Midhun Mukundan also enhances the thriller elements in the film.
Jayaram, in that rugged look with restrained body language, is pretty convincing as a police officer with baggage, and the casting makes sense as the odd choice will make us curious about the character. Senthil Krishna and Arya Salim play the roles of the subordinates in the team of Ozler. The character played by Anaswara Rajan was important to the story, while the scope to perform was pretty minimal. The remorseless character played by Jagadish was very impressive. But, when I saw the actor who played the younger portion of Jagadish’s character, the contrast of the performance and looks made me feel that Dileesh Pothan would have been a more suitable choice, who was interestingly there in the movie in a different role.
Arjun Nandakumar, Harikrishnan, Boban Alamoodan, Saiju Kurup, etc., are also there in the movie, along with an extended cameo-like role by Arjun Ashokan, who seems to be placed there for a tentative sequel. Yes, there is a massive guest appearance by Mammootty in the movie, and it is a pretty extensive one. For some reason, I felt the star value of Mammootty was utilized a little too much in the second half, as Ozler pretty much takes the back seat and even accepts a clue from that character.
Abraham Ozler is definitely a watchable thriller that has its moments here and there. But with an overburdened cameo and a story that is somewhat guessable, it doesn’t have that captivating aura to its credit. The performance and appearance of Jayaram were so distinct that I felt they could have worked on the personal journey of that traumatized character more, rather than giving it a separate movie. The backstory was a bit too exhausting that when they finally show Ozler getting some sleep, the audience almost forgot the fact that he was a character struggling to get some sleep.
With some pivotal moments having the scale and style suitable for a theater design, Abraham Ozler is definitely passable, but nothing particularly remarkable.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended