Garudan, the new Suresh Gopi – Biju Menon starrer directed by debutant Arun Varma and scripted by Midhun Manuel Thomas, has an exciting central conflict. But the problem is with the writing that needs more patience to establish something firmly. The film is built around a rape case where the accused later decides to get a clean chit legally by claiming that the police investigation was hasty. Well, when you, as an audience member, can feel the hurried nature of the investigation, it is pretty difficult to feel for the character who did the investigation. With that climax twist, which feels way too convenient, the movie sort of recovers the lack of glow. But still, the narrative sporadically has those highs that will give us genuine excitement.
Professor Nishanth gets arrested by SP Harish Madhav for the rape of a student named Theressa. As the scientific proofs were against Nishanth, he was convicted. Seven years later, Nishanth comes out of jail, and his family is unwilling to accept him. Nishanth decided to file a petition at the high court to reopen his case. Why he did that and what challenges it posed to Harish Madhav, who was just about to retire, is what we see in Garudan.
SPOILERS AHEAD! On a one-liner level, Garudan is a fascinating movie. A man says he is wrongly accused of a crime that has all scientific evidence against him. And in his second innings, he tastes victory as he proves his innocence. As we are positioned on the side of the hero, this angle and mystery behind how it all happened is always there. But like I said, the writing needs to have conviction in making us believe in certain things. When Harish Madhav suggests the idea of mass DNA collection under some fake scheme, as a viewer, that itself felt like an outrageous move. The other thing was the court procedure. Be it the first time Nishanth was taken to court or the second time when he went to clear his name, the way the court declared its verdict felt unrealistically fast, and you, as an audience, would feel like questioning this hastiness.
Arun Varma uses the usual thriller tropes in setting the frames of this thriller. In terms of visual craft, nothing is exciting happening, and Arun could have done something to reduce the amount of artificial drama in all those conversations. First, I thought it was an issue with the 0.5x speed dialogue delivery of Suresh Gopi. But in that crucial scene featuring both characters towards the climax, even Biju Menon struggled to handle that level of melodrama in the written content. I wonder why, in certain conversation sequences, Ajay David Kachappilly was changing the axis of the visual without much motivation. The story is the USP of this movie as it creates intrigue in the viewer. But when it comes to scripting, the nuances are missing, and frankly, the “it was all part of the plan” climax felt a bit escapist and easy.
The only performance I enjoyed in Suresh Gopi’s second outing was the one in Varane Aavashyamundu. The other performances that were mostly rooting for his on-screen heroic image felt forgettable due to the sluggish dialogue delivery. The same can be said about his role in Garudan. For some of the emotional outbursts of the character Harish Madhav in the second half, a section of the audience sort of laughed, and I couldn’t really blame them. Biju Menon, as Nishanth, portrays the transition of that character effortlessly, and I would say if his performance wasn’t smooth, the movie would have definitely been an endurance test. Siddique is there as the advocate, and he was pretty convincing as usual. There is punch dialogue at the end where Suresh Gopi claims he is a better actor than Siddique. In terms of the number of awards he won, it might be accurate, but in this movie, I will have to disagree. Thalaivasal Vijay, Jagadish, Abhirami, Divya Pillai, Dileesh Pothan, Jayan Cherthala, Nishanth Sagar etc. are the major names in the cast.
Garudan is a movie with an excellent conflict and an average script. As a viewer, I wasn’t really bored as the genre and the curiosity to know whether they would provide something out of the box kept me interested in the development. The backstory of the villain and how he managed to win the case, etc., needed a less generic and more charming buildup. But ultimately, they have given the film the structure of a gallery-pleasing thriller with elements we are familiar with.
Ultimately, they have given the film the structure of a gallery-pleasing thriller with elements we are familiar with.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended