Yet another crime thriller from actor Arulnithi who is at the verge of getting pattern rights for doing horror and crime thrillers in Tamil cinema. D Block is claimed to be based on real life events. The film is about a chain of murders that take place in a secluded engineering college in a forest region, the protagonist along with his buddies set out to solve the mystery. Actor Arulnithi who was last seen in the mass action-sports drama Kalathil Santhippom is back on screens with his coming-of-age crime thriller film D Block. Actress Avantika Mishra has played the female lead part. Popular Youtuber Vijay Kumar Rajendran makes his debut as a silver screen film maker. So, how has the crime thriller D Block come out? Is it solid enough to give actor Arulnithi a big commercial break that he is craving for and be a memorable debut for Vijay Kumar Rajendran? To know that let us get in to the movie review.
The movie revolves around a series of murders that take place around AKR engineering college that is located in a remote forest in Coimbatore. D Block opens with a young woman held in captive being subjected to torture. The scene cuts to 2006 where we witness a happy go lucky young man Arul who joins the AKR engineering college. He has a fun college life with his friends in the hostel. Since the college is situated in a dense forest, the students of the institution are advised not to leave the campus after it gets dark. But students being students they get adventurous and turn a deaf ear to the instruction. Things become serious when a student named Swathi, a Bharatanatyam dancer loses her life under mysterious circumstances.
The college management are keen to defuse the issue to save the reputation of their institution, and closes the case saying she was killed in a wild animal attack. Swathi is a good friend of Arul. He does not buy in to the management’s theory and suspects foul play in his friend’s death. His suspension grows stronger with a chain of murders only involving female students in a similar fashion. So, Arul along with his friends set out to unravel the mystery behind the mysterious deaths of his college mates. Is there really any foul play behind the deaths, if there is, will Arul and his friends be able to navigate the danger and find the culprits behind the crime, is what makes the rest of the flick.
Actor Arulnithi Tamilarasu usually picks thrillers that have a unique plot line. But with D Block he has switched gears, and takes the generic safe commercial route. A series of murders and a psycho killer with a backstory for his kills. Debutant director Vijay Kumar Rajendran takes ample amount of time before getting into the core plot. He spends predominant portions of the first half in depicting the typical cinematic college life that makes us wonder what college the maker goes to. When it is college life we are talking about, how can it be without romance, right? We have a romance track that seems apparently forced. The good thing though, is the director keeps it contained and does not elaborate on it. After exhausting a good portion in the template college life, he gets to the plot towards the end of the first half. In the second half, we have a psycho killer short film.
Sadly, none of the characters have depth including the antagonist who happens to be the main driver of the plot. He is painted in the shades of a clever and almost impossible to nab initially. Only to end up being an easy prey to the protagonist in the climax. Like every psycho killer, even he gets a backstory of what made him what he is. Director Vijay Kumar Rajendran wants the backstory to have a real impact on the audience. But his writing prowess does not have the fire to get done what he aims. Eventually D Block fizzles out, the moment when the presence of the psycho killer is revealed. While watching the film, the ‘based on real events’ pops in our mind, and one could not help but wonder where did these events happen in real life? Would be helpful if director Vijay Kumar Rajendran reveals it, as the suspense remains even after the end of the film.
Actor Arulnithi Tamilarasu fits in his character well. But his repetitive expressions and body language that we are so used to are a little tiring to overlook anymore. Same with actor Karu Palaniappan who by now should have become well versed with his stereotypical role. But sadly, he has not. Actress Avantika Mishra in a typical Tamil cinema heroine role. She does not have any room to perform but does what is given to her well. Actor Charandeep is adequate. Actor Thalaivasal Vijay is effective as usual. Actress Uma Riyaz Khan makes her presence felt. Actors Vijay Kumar Rajendran, Swetha Venugopal, Adithya Kathir, Janani Durga, RJ Anandhi, Ramesh Khanna, Badava Gopi, and Crane Manohar are functional. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them.
On the technical front, music director Ron Ethan Yohann’s tracks are not inspiring. Musician Kaushik Krish’s background score aids in fashioning the mystery pulse of the flick. Cinematographer S Aravinnd Singh has done a fine job covering the drama. His frames are rightly positioned to build the thriller component effectively. Editor Ganesh Siva’s cuts could have been better to enhance the work of his colleague.
On the whole, convenient writing and dreary performances puts actor Arulnithi Tamilarasu’s D Block under the ground.
D Block is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video OTT platform.