Director Shakti Soundar Rajan who has built a reputation in doling out science fiction dramas has added yet another science fiction title to his name in Captain. The drama is based on the popular novel Predator penned by writer McTiernan. The drama is about the mission of a daring army captain who puts his life on line to uncover the truth behind the mysterious death of a military unit inside a dense forest. Actor Arya who was last seen on screens in the action crime thriller drama Enemy is back on screens with his science fiction action film Captain. Actress Aishwarya Lekshmi has essayed the female lead role in the movie. So, how has the science fiction action movie Captain come out? Is it solid enough to propel actor Arya to the success zone, and establish actress Aishwarya Lekshmi as a bankable female lead in Tamil cinema? To know that let us get into the movie review.
Captain depicts events that occur in a dense forest. Vetri Selvan (Arya), an orphan who is fostered by the army grows up to be an army captain. To him his team is his family. As a unit they share a close bond, and have a reputation for accomplishing dangerous and complex covert military operations. Their next mission is to enter a mysterious forest region termed Sector 42, to get a read on what is going on in the area. A unit which was previously sent on the operation has never returned. Vetri Selvan, and his team embark on the mission. Inside the area they are ambushed by a mysterious creature, which leads to the death of one of his teammates. Vetri Selvan is demoted as a training officer for the mishap in the mission. Meanwhile, Dr Keerthi (Simran), a scientist with the defense ministry set up a lab adjacent to Sector 42 to study about the beastly creature under project Minotaur.
As Vetri Selvan and his team were the one to have lastly visited Sector 42, they are added to the squad. The team again raided Sector 42. They are attacked. But Vetri Selvan somehow manages to hurt one of the creatures, and brings it to the lab. However, the creature regains consciousness, and wreaks havoc on the lab. It is then known that these creatures do not have a body temperature, are venomous, and communicate by means of bio radio signals. Soon they infer that a huge Minotaur is out there, and is sending signals to the little Minotaurs. Vetri senses there is more than what meets the eye behind project Minotaur. He tells his team they should kill the huge Minotaur on their own without Keerthi. What is happening in Sector 42, does Keerthi have a game as Vetri suspects, and will the team succeed on their mission to kill Minotaurs, is what makes the rest of the flick.
Captain has raw ideas lifted from Hollywood movies but lacks a proper writer to crack and develop those ideas into a gripping narration. Director Shakti Soundar Rajan opens Captain in a typical Tamil cinema-esque fashion. He introduces his lead character amid a military operation, in an attempt to spin a clever and formidable shade to the character. But neither his writing, nor Arya’s acting, nor cinematographer Yuva’s frames have anything special in them to support his cause. Then, swiftly, before we could get into the mood of a military zone, the scene cuts to a happy celebratory song. It again switches back to a serious tone. A good 20 twenty minutes into the film, we still could not resonate with any of the characters or take their mission seriously. Resounding similitude is to blame.
Captain is easily the worst film of director Shakti Soundar Rajan. His latest work is dearth of even the effort we could find in his previous films. It looks as if the crew stepped on to execution without clear groundwork, and halfway through has lost confidence, indulged in a rush job to just complete the shoot, and be done with it. When we are yet to finish lamenting the pitfalls in the story and acting, parallelly the technical facade of the film says ‘hold my beer’. The VFX of Captain might have gotten a pass in Tamil cinema one or two decades ago. At present, its mediocrity is intolerable. To be fair, budget constraints do seem to have played spoilsport. But then, even with sufficient budget, Captain still would have failed on many fronts.
Actor Arya’s physique helped him to fit well in his role. But the actor is far from his best as a performer. For most parts he comes across straight faced. Actress Aishwarya Lekshmi’s character does not have much to move the proceedings. Nonetheless, she lives up to her part. Veteran actress Simran tries hard to make her presence felt even in an abysmally written role. Actress Kavya Shetty does justice to her part. Actor Harish Uthaman makes an impact in his stereotypical role. Actor Suresh Chandra Menon serves the purpose for which he was brought on board. Actor Bharath Raj is operational. Actress Malavika Avinash is adequate. Actor Gokulnath is functional. Actors Vincent Asokan, Adithya Menon, Rajmohan, and Gokul Anand have done their job well. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them.
On the technical front, music director D Imman’s songs are average, and do not stay in our memory for long. His background score is not any special either. Even in jump scare portions he just deploys the archetypal blaring score. Cinematographer S Yuva’s frames are adequate. But for a science fiction film his angles and color tone should have been better. Editor Pradeep E Ragav has tried his best to work his scissors in ways to improve the work of his colleague.
On the whole, shoestring budget married to half-hearted work mar director Shakti Soundar Rajan’s mission to give a gripping film in Captain.