The film lives up to the expectations mostly but also suffers from slow pacing.

Birbal Trilogy Case 1 Finding Vajramuni review A watchable thriller
Flix Sandalwood Friday, January 18, 2019 - 15:23
Worth a watch

The murder mystery is a tricky genre. A film falling under this category can either be too good to be true or just mediocre and predictable. Hence, many filmmakers don’t opt for it at the beginning of their career.

When RJ-turned-filmmaker Srini announced a murder mystery, that too a trilogy with a catchy title, it created a buzz in Sandalwood. The first look, trailer and songs have lived up to the expectations. But, can we say the same about the 162-minute-long film? Well, ‘yes’ to a large extent; but the movie is not without flaws, of course.

The movie begins in 2000. A young cab driver, who used to double as police informant, is found murdered. A bar employee Vishnu is framed but proven guilty. We are told that the police ‘fixes Vishnu’ to wash their hands off the case. Almost eight years later, intelligent lawyer Mahesh Das (M G Srinivas aka Srini) stumbles upon the case and feels that an innocent has been framed. He takes up the case, but ends up paying a hefty price for choosing to tread the path full of thorns.

His girlfriend Jaanavi (Rukmini Vasanth), also a lawyer, is with him since his college days and has high hopes on their life together. Meanwhile, complications arise in this case and it's far from being solved. Who is the Birbal referred to in the title and how does he find the real culprit or Vajramuni by risking his own life and career forms the second half?

The film’s climax freezes on Vajramuni’s face, giving us a cue to the second part of trilogy. Srini made his dream directorial debut with Topiwala starring Upendra. When the film failed to perform at the box-office, the filmmaker had admitted that the film’s fate could’ve been changed at the editing table. His second film as director and debut as actor, Srinivasa Kalyana, a breezy rom-com, fared well at the box-office and managed to woo youngsters.

With Birbal, Srini has proved his mettle as director and actor, but though the film is intriguing, it could have done with better editing. Somewhere in the second half, one realises that the filmmaker has underestimated the audience by taking every opportunity to explain in detail each and every scene, in a dramatic way, leaving nothing to the imagination of audience. Apart from crisper editing, he could’ve cut down on the lengthy explanations to make the film more engaging.

The suspense is built slowly and the case investigation begins only in the second half. The film is exceptional when seen from different perspectives, such as a lawyer, a criminal and an innocent man. But again, too many cooks spoil the taste.

In Sandalwood, successful movies devoid of superstars do well if they have good content. At the same time, not all superstars are delivering hits because they tend to follow the same commercial genre. Srini has managed to make the content interesting in his latest outing and though it will not be a trendsetter, it manages to stand out.

Saurabh Vaibhav and Saurabh Lokhande provide the perfect background score for a thriller. As an actor, Srini has done justice to the role. The other members of the cast, Ramya, Sujay Shastri, Vineeth and Maddusudhan Rao have also performed well in the roles assigned to them. This murder mystery is a good watch if you don't mind slow-paced thrillers. 

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

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