Kannai Nambathey is about a young man who gets entangled in a murder that he did not commit and attempts to erase his tracks to save himself. Actor Udhayanidhi Stalin who was last seen in the action thriller movie Kalaga Thalaivan is back on screens with his crime thriller flick Kannai Nambathey. Actress Aathmika has played the female lead part in the drama. Film maker Mu. Maran has written and directed the film. So, how has the crime thriller drama Kannai Nambathey come out? Is it solid enough to hand actor Udhayanidhi Stalin the much-needed commercial success that he is after, and be a good career break to actress Aathmika? To know that let us get into the movie review.
The film follows the life of Arun (Udhayanidhi Stalin), a young man who is forced to vacate his house in a day’s time after the house owner learns about his relationship with his daughter Divya (Aathmika). He finds a house which is inhabited by Somu (Prasanna), who is set to vacate it in a few days. Given the short time frame, Arun agrees to share the house with him for the time being. He settles in. Arun, and his friend Jagan (Sathish) develop a good rapport with Somu immediately. To celebrate their newly forged bond, they go out for a drink.
In the bar, Arun gets a call. He steps out to take it. When he steps out, he witnesses a car crashing into a barricade. He rushes to help; the driver is a woman (Bhumika Chawla) who is in shock. She appeals to Arun to drop her at her home. He obliges. He returns home and re-counts the whole scenario with his friends. Next morning, he learns that the woman he dropped off is dead, with her body left in the very car he drove. A perplexed Arun heeds to the advice of his friend and tries to cover up his tracks. Who is the woman who killed her, is Arun in any way responsible for her death, or is someone trying to frame him, is what makes the rest of the flick.
Director Mu. Maran’s Kannai Nambathey promises mountains but delivers chasm. It does not take much effort to make a thriller movie to work. Unless you get the basics right. A simple plot with mystery knots at regular intervals, measured reveals, and a twist to wrap it up. In Kannai Nambathey, director Mu. Maran takes the difficult route, and makes the plot as convoluted as possible which not only loses its audience well before the intermission but offers a patience testing experience after that. The weird feature of the film is that there are so many gruesome crimes happening with such a casualness that we as audience could not connect with these events. Be it the scene where a girl spontaneously hatches an escape plan for her boyfriend who has just murdered a woman while attempting to rape her, or the scene where a man anesthetizes a group of kids for an illegal medical procedure. They are not just bizarre but hard to be absorbed.
It seems like the intention of story teller Mu. Maran is to depict these characters as callous perpetrators. But there needs to be at least minuscule details regarding them to be able to do that. We know nothing of these characters. They just exist merely as a menacing factor. Realizing the weakness in the plot the director seeks to keep us on the edge by deploying a pointless twist at specific intervals. This acts as a huge dampener. As without any difficulty we could foresee that they are used as a distraction. And we get it right four out of five times. When this expedient fails, Kannai Nambathey does not take long to go out of the stream. The awful mandatory romantic angle, and disappearing of a supposedly main character halfway through the film only makes it worse.
Actor Udhayanidhi Stalin just about managed to pull off his role. But it is a little tiring to watch the same expressions and body language of the actor time and again. Actress Aathmika’s character does not have a strong hold in the flow, and just travels in and out of the proceedings. Nonetheless, the actress lives up to her part. Actor Prasanna makes his presence felt even in a limited screen time. It is difficult to perceive actor Srikanth as a ruthless antagonist. In fact he comes across as an unintentionally funny character. Actress Bhumika Chawla makes an impact. Actress Vasundhara Kashyap does justice to her part. Actor Sathish is inconsistent. Nevertheless, adds to the comical quotient of the flick. Actor G Marimuthu delivers in his typical stereotypical role. Actor Pala. Karuppiah is effective as usual. Actor Chithra Lakshmanan is functional. Actors G Gnanasambandam, Subiksha Krishnan, Sendrayan, Jeeva Ravi, Aadhira Pandilakshmi, Karate Karthi, and Supergood Subramani have all chipped in and have played their part well. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them.
On the technical front, music director Siddhu Kumar tracks do not last in our memory. But he somewhat makes up for it with his background score that aids in fashioning the thriller mood of the flick. Cinematographer Jalandhar Vasan has set up his camera at right spots. His visuals are colorful. Editor San Lokesh brings forth his editing prowess and enhances the work of his colleague with sharp scissor work.
On the whole, actor Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Kannai Nambathey is a banal thriller drama that fluffs the plot with red herrings to retain audience’s attention but falls flat in the end.