DNA Review | Return of All the Clichés, Along With a Batman From Meesho

DNA, the latest Malayalam movie directed by TS Suresh Babu and written by AK Santhosh, is like watching the return of all the cliched scripting tropes from the dustbin. Starring actor Mammootty’s nephew Ashkar Saudan in the lead role, the movie is a colossal disappointment by all means, and the writing that is extremely old school would make the whole experience a tiring one. With an outdated making and a series of forgettable performances, DNA, at best is a roast-worthy comedy.

So Lakshmi Narayanan and Hannah are RJs in a leading radio station in Kochi. The newly joined police commissioner, Rachel Punnose, is given the charge of the investigation of a brutal killing where a young man was murdered in a very heinous way. More murders started to happen in a similar fashion, and since there was a pendrive inside the mouth of each victim, the police coined the term “pendrive killings.” How Rachel Punnose cracked the killer is what we see in the movie DNA.

SPOILER ALERT! When the movie shifts to Kochi and we are introduced to our hero Lakshmi Narayan, as an RJ, I immediately felt like asking who hired him as an RJ. The diction and the energy in the performance were so odd and off that he might have been the last one in the shortlisted list of RJ candidates. Well, the hero’s casting is not really the most irritating thing about this revenge thriller. The writing is so bad in terms of structuring that AK Santhosh is not even making the slightest effort to create some moments of suspense. We have this Poor man’s Batman with clothes bought from Meesho and a terribly designed mask, killing men one after the other. The writing talent of Mr. AK Santhosh is such that he would make you think the movie will obviously not make the hero the vigilante, and later he will reveal that the hero himself is the masked man! I mean, what a thought! That thought never crossed our minds.

During most of the promotion interviews for this movie, every anchor mentioned how Ashkar Saudan looked similar to the Mammootty of the ’80s and how the bass in his voice was very impressive. Well, Ashkar has successfully proved that having a great voice and being able to modulate it effectively are entirely different things. In terms of being able to carry the swagger, the man is giving tough competition to Maqbool Salman. Hannah Reji Koshy’s character is more like a very evident decoy from the word go. Raai Laxmi as Rachel Punnose is there more for glamour reasons than performance. There is a very minimal improvement in the performance of Padmaraj Ratheesh. Dialogues given to the character played by Riyas Khan were so terrible and hilarious that the Filmyshek guy would scream his lungs out “Content!”

In a recent video, I saw the director, T S Suresh Babu, saying that even though he hasn’t done a mainstream movie in a while, he has been watching films and has updated himself to understand the taste of the current audience. But once you see the number of cliches that have piled up in this thriller, you will feel like asking the director to reinstall the last update. There is a scene in the movie where officers with higher ranks are discussing the “golden hours” in an investigation. It’s kind of funny how a private conversation between two qualified officers is so basic. The scripting tropes that will later be used as key moments in the movie are presented very much in an in-your-face manner. The song placements are awful. The background score by Prakash Alex was fairly nice.

If the last movie you watched was released two decades ago, there is a minute possibility that DNA directed by T S Suresh Babu might feel like a watchable thriller. But for anyone who is proud of the way Malayalam cinema has been tasting success through all sorts of genres in the last six months, this blast from the past thriller is nothing short of a test of patience.

Final Thoughts

If the last movie you watched was released two decades ago, there is a minute possibility that DNA directed by T S Suresh Babu might feel like a watchable thriller.

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Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended

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By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.