Tanu Balak’s Cold Case starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Aditi Balan in prominent roles, is a movie that never becomes interesting. Written by Sreenath V Nath, the trajectory of Cold Case is an amalgamation of the different thrillers we have seen, and thus when they finally reveal the real culprit, it only becomes one of the options we might have predicted. Even though the visuals have this high production value, the kind of outdated feel in dialogues and the deliberate placement of certain clues reduces the movie’s charm on a writing level.
The story begins with the discovery of a mutilated skull. Since the skull was found from a place that has certain connections with the Home Minister, the minister asks the police department to form a special team, and our leading man ACP Satyajith is the head of that team. At the same time, Medha, a journalist, has found a new rented home for her and her daughter to stay. But soon after their arrival, Medha senses the presence of something supernatural in that house. What we see in Cold Case is the connecting link between Sathyajith’s quest to know the murdered person and Medha’s efforts to know what’s behind the paranormal activity at her house.
The concept is indeed an interesting one. Sreenath has channeled the logical and magical aspects of the same incident in parallel tracks. But I feel that was also one of its issues in terms of surprising the viewers. I remember watching Aamir Khan’s Talaash, and throughout the film, I was looking at it as an investigative thriller. It was only at the very end of the movie we learn about the supernatural/psychological element in the script. But here, since they were showing us both tracks parallelly, the surprise factor was not that effective. The police in Cold Case is that old school one. The upgrade police got through films like Action Hero Biju, and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum is not applied here. An ACP explains the case and findings to his seniors in a language that the layman can understand, and this “simplicity” at times makes a scene look silly.
Prithviraj Sukumaran switches to his typical uniform cop avatar (except for the one we saw in Mumbai police). It is just a role that uses his star value and the larger-than-life persona to give some heft to the character of ACP Sathyajith. Aditi Balan plays the role of Medha here. The story offers her a wider platform in terms of performance as we see her character in multiple emotional states. The dubbing was a bit off in certain areas as the stress given to words by the actor and the dubbing artist varied. Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli was good, but that wig kind of stood out. Late actor Anil Nedumangad was also effective. Even though the dubbing felt a bit off in the beginning, you get used to it as the movie progresses. Suchitra Pillai and Athmiya Rajan are also there in the movie as pivotal characters.
Tanu Balak has depicted scale very convincingly. He and cinematographer Girish Gangadharan has opted for different styles to narrate the two tracks in the movie. While the house and paranormal activities get different lensing, the visual attire of the police investigation is on the calmer side without many gimmicks. The technical superiority of Cold Case demanded a better script. Sreenath was creating curiosity-generating dead ends and fixes to those dead ends in an interesting way in the beginning. But post revealing the identity of the person, the film starts to feel unexciting. It is very obvious that we as an audience would be doing our permutations and combinations to find the killer and what we do get to know at the end is something that we may have thought for a second. Shameer Mohammed has managed to balance the two tracks evenly.
Cold Case is a thriller that began interestingly and then went after convenient ways to find closure. Being completely unpredictable and sounding coherent is what makes thrillers great and Cold Case isn’t fully there. Somewhere I felt they could have reduced the “dramatic” treatment in specific conversations and could have opted for a straightforward dialogue between the characters.
Cold Case is a thriller that began interestingly and then went after convenient ways to find closure.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended