Echcharikkai – Idhu Manidhargal Nadamaadum Idam is a thriller centered around an abduction, a tested genre. The makers have even credited films like The Disappearance of Alice Creed, La Orca and Kadal as inspirations. So, does Echcharikkai offer anything fresh? While the story itself is nothing new, the way it has been treated is what makes this film a worthy experience.
Kishore plays David and debutant Vivek Rajgopal plays Thomas, his nephew. Director Sarjun, who shot to fame with his short films Lakshmi and Maa, has given the two an interesting background and it is the placement of this history in the narrative flow that makes the rest of the film interesting. Had the narrative been non-linear, it wouldn’t have created as much of a curiosity as it does in its present form.
Sathyaraj plays Natraj, a retired police officer and a single parent who takes care of his sick daughter. Varalaxmi plays Swetha, the woman who is abducted by David and Thomas.
The film creates an interesting premise, not with its story but with its characters. In that sense, this film has been aptly titled - ‘Warning - Beware of humans’. While the history between David and Thomas lets you second guess their dynamics, the shades that these characters take as the film progresses adds another layer of depth to it.
But since we’ve established that all the characters have more than one dimension to them, the story lacks a crucial element to increase the pace of this thriller. The interactions could’ve been a bit more intensely structured, dealing a little more with the greys of the human psyche.
Both Kishore and Vivek have done their parts really well. Varalaxmi's character, however, could’ve been written better. While she plays the most important role of a hostage, a little more screen time would have intensified the film’s pace and lifted its overall effect. The film falls flat in some points and struggles to maintain the thrill because of this.
Sathyaraj’s investigative reasoning does not get far-fetched and we are thankful for the absence of an Indianised Sherlock Homes, as is the norm to characterise detectives in most regional films.
Yogi Babu as Frank De Souza does his bit and elicits a few laughs when he’s present on screen. The father-daughter equation between Perumal (Jayakumar) and Swetha, however, is less convincing.
The background score and music by Sundaramurthy KS has been done well. However, the duets positioned in the most unlikely of places hampers the film. The 'echcharikai' could have been stronger, but as it stands, this is a moderately good effort for a debut director.
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.