'Trataka' review: This Kannada thriller falls flat due to its slow pace

There's a lot of brutality in the film but the slow pace and logical loopholes prove to be a let down.
'Trataka' review: This Kannada thriller falls flat due to its slow pace
'Trataka' review: This Kannada thriller falls flat due to its slow pace
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ACP Jaidev (Rahul Ainapur) is a tough cop. He is street-smart and knows exactly when to use his brains and brandish his gun. But, he suffers from Complex Partial Seizure and blacks out at regular intervals.

The film opens with the gruesome murder of Jaidev’s brother. Jaidev, like an injured lion, is out looking for the murderer; but with every clue, a new thread of mystery opens. He has two close friends and a girlfriend Dr Pavitra (Hridaya Avanti), who assist him in solving the murder mystery. Like a twist in the tale, Jaidev’s colleague and friend Ajith (Ajith Jayaraj) convinces him that he murdered his brother himself during one of the seizures.

Upset over this, Jaidev decides to end his life and jumps off a really tall building. Well, like every hero ever he does not die, but the logic does! Pavitra then teaches Jaidev Trataka technique - a spiritual practice - while treating his seizures and reveals to him that he did not kill his brother. If that’s the case, why did his best friend lie to him? Who is this best friend and what’s the connection between him and a series of murders in town. Will Jaidev be able to crack the case and accept the truth about his friend forms the crux of the story.

There is way too much brutality throughout the film, which justifies why the CBFC gave the ‘A’ certificate to the film. Trataka is a spiritual practice or meditation that allows one to align the senses well enough to awaken and open the so called 'third eye'. There is only a passing mention about the word and concept in the second half of the film; apart from that we could not connect the dots as to why the film was titled Trataka. May be because the word is attention grabbing? Only the team can answer this.

A slow pace kills a murder mystery and that’s where the film has gone wrong. Thrillers are supposed to engage in every scene and keep the audience at the edge of their seats; but Trataka, with its slow pace narration, kills the curiosity. Though the background score complements the visuals, the songs just go with the flow and the item song is totally uncalled for.

The film is mostly shot in the dark and the cinematographer has to be credited for the excellent camera work. We rarely get to see lead actors with gray facial hair - Rahul’s stylist definitely deserves applause for his suave look. The son of a well-know politician, Rahul has earlier acted in Ramya Chaitra Kaala and Taare. Considering this is his third film, but the first as a lead actor, he scores full marks. He carries the films on his shoulders (he is also the producer), and has essayed the cop role with ease. His mannerisms too go well with his looks. Ajith plays a cop, who is a psycho, and takes the cake.

Hridaya Avanti and Bhavani Prakash have minimal roles. Hridaya, who plays a psychiatrist, appears only to encourage the hero and disappears soon after her scenes and is nowhere to be seen in between – except in songs of course!

Director Shivaganesh, whose last film Jigarthanda was a remake, has attempted a new genre with Trataka. Though his attempt is appreciable, overall the film looks very bland. A little effort in bringing out a better album and tighter editing would have taken this movie to a different level. Watch it only if you can take a slow-paced murder mystery without complaints.

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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