During the panel discussion of the recent Movie Street conclave about the last decade of Malayalam cinema, the topic of scientific accuracy came across and one of the invitees criticized the unreal visual presentation of laboratories in our movies. Seeing the colorful forensic laboratory in the movie Forensic I kind of giggled whenever it was shown on screen. Forensic is not a difficult movie to sit through, but the kind of familiarity or typical nature it has makes it a passable thriller that won’t stay with you like an Anjaam Pathiraa which also had a very similar plot.
Samuel John Kaattookkaran works in the forensic department. Ritika Xavier IPS is investigating the murder of a minor girl child and Samuel was added to her team as a consultant. But eventually, Samuel became a very important part of the team when he provided substantial clues to consider this as a serial killer’s plan. The movie Forensic shows us how they found out the real killer.
Forensic is a movie that after a point becomes a distraction fest. Making us believe that someone else is the killer is indeed a smart trick. And if you can do that convincingly, you will end up making a thriller that will hold your interest. But Forensic is struggling a bit to strike that balance. In the beginning portions, it is going after certain heroics. Then it has the usual chain of events that contributes to the creation of a serial killer. Then there are multiple distractions and eventually, when we find out who the killer is, there is a lengthy back-story that has this clichéd tone to it. It is in the technical glory, especially the cinematography, the movie sort of camouflages its usual nature. Towards the end, the back-story and the connections are a little bit exhausting.
Tovino Thomas is yet again seen in a character where he doesn’t seem to have much to do as an actor other than delivering the lines with a pinch of careless attitude. As Ritika Xavier, Mamtha Mohandas also get that usual IPS officer we see in Malayalam cinema. There is emotional baggage here for her character that makes the investigation all the more personal for her. Reba Monica John gets a pointless character. Dhanesh Anand is fine in terms of expressions, but his dialogue delivery couldn’t create the venomous vibe. Those two kids were fine in their respective roles. Giju John as the doctor delivered an average performance. Saiju Kurup, Rony David Raj, Renji Panicker, etc are the other main names here.
The first thing I have to say about the movie is that the background score is extremely excessive. In this 134 minutes long movie, there isn’t a single phase where you can feel a sense of calmness. Yes, I do agree with the fact that a movie like Ratsasan also had those deafening scores. But that movie also used silence to keep us nervous. Here they have totally underestimated the ability of silence to create a terrifying atmosphere. Akhil Paul who made an impressive debut with 7th Day is making his directorial debut with Forensic along with Anas Khan. The duo knows details about many forensic related things that made them go ahead with this content. But there is a real lack of subtlety in their presentation. Tovino showing his skills in front of Reba and the sudden burst of background score when he walks out of the interrogation room after talking about the pacemaker – lie detector connection, etc has a major mismatch. Where the movie really scored, in my opinion, was in the cinematography. The visuals kind of understood the mood of the situation and the cuts were also pretty effective in creating that horror vibe. The deviation from one villain to another is like a major plus and a major minus at the same time. Because on a script level, it looked interesting, but when it came to the presentation it kind of became a never-ending tool of the script to keep us invested.
Forensic is that thriller that won’t bore you for sure. I remember having discussions with friends about the statues in Anjaam Pathiraa after watching it and there was an interesting debate about that movie which clearly meant it had a lot of substance. I don’t think there will be a similar excitement about the content of Forensic.
Forensic is not a difficult movie to sit through, but the kind of familiarity or typical nature it has makes it a passable thriller that won't stay with you like an Anjaam Pathiraa.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended