Writer review: A splendid act by Samuthirakani and an excellent storyline make this film a must-watch!

Writer review: A splendid act by Samuthirakani and an excellent storyline make this film a must-watch!

The narrative seldom loses its grip and has soothing music and an innovative background score, superbly elevating it further, leaving a spellbinding impact

Bobby SingUpdated: Friday, February 18, 2022, 08:53 PM IST
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Moving over the typical genre of cop movies, Writer comes with an exceptional subject that has never been dealt with before in such a revealing and hard-hitting manner. At one end, it fearlessly depicts the way innocent youngsters get framed to solve the pending cases. But on the other brings forward an issue that presents the human side of the officers constantly working day and night, with no fixed duty hours and holidays.

The film focuses on a soon-to-be-retired head constable, Thangaraj (Samuthirakani), who works as a writer in the police station. His job is to write the details of a crime and the culprit, with the complete strategy followed by the team to solve the case. But Thangaraj is more known as an activist in the police circles who has filed a petition to form a Police Union, asking for a routine eight hours’ duty time and fixed holidays. That remains the reason he is disliked by his superiors, facing regular humiliation and transfers. The film later also points towards abusive, casteist officers and the mental health of their subordinates working under constant pressure, leading to suicides. This novel, eye-opener subject of a police union and on-duty suicides has probably never been explored in the Indian mainstream cinema.

However, Writer is not about any perfect and honest police officer. It presents the characters as flawed humans obeying orders. And that’s what gets Thangaraj caught in the fake case of an innocent Ph.D. student arrested on serious charges concerning national security. Thangaraj becomes one of the reasons for the boy’s arrest, and how the guilt starts killing him forms the crux of the film’s solid second half leading to a thought-provoking climax.

With all realistic portrayals, Writer slowly grabs your attention and has minor flaws in a few flashbacks resulting in unnecessary deviations. But then, one of these backstories also has a powerful sequence of a lady police trainee riding the horse, rebelling against her senior officer. The narrative seldom loses its grip and has soothing music and an innovative background score, superbly elevating it further, leaving a spellbinding impact.

A standout lead performance remains the film’s major strength, and Samuthirakani simply nails it, playing the confused protagonist. He infuses so much honesty into his act and truly shines in the sequences depicting guilt and dilemma without even saying a word. The rest of the cast provides brilliant support with Kavin Jay Babu as the North Indian officer speaking partial Hindi, Hari Krishnan as the victim student, and Antony playing the ex-convict working in the station. Mostly a male-dominated cast, the film has some impressive sequences featuring Maheswari as Samuthirakani’s wife and Ineya as the lady-cop.

To be straight, Writer isn’t interested in providing the routine entertainment dealing with the cop universe. Thoughtfully written and directed by Franklin Jacob, it attempts to go beyond, raises questions, and makes us think about our divisive society and the police department in particular. It’s also one of the most important films of the present times and thus deserves to be seen as a must for its subject, execution, and the outstanding act of Samuthirakani.

TITLE: Writer (Tamil)

CAST: Samuthirakani, Hari Krishnan, Kavin Jay Babu and Dileepan

DIRECTOR: Franklin Jacob

PLATFORM: Aha

RATING: 4 stars

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