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WRITER (Tamil) - An exceptional subject, execution and an outstanding lead act makes it a must watch. (Review by Bobby Sing)

21 Feb, 2022 | Movie Reviews / 2021 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

Moving over the typical genre of cop movies, Writer comes with an exceptional subject that has never been dealt with before on the silver screen 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, castiest officers and the mental health of their subordinates working in constant pressure, leading to suicides. This novel, eye-opener subject of a police union and on-duty suicides has probably never been explored before 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.
That said, 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.
In one of its enlightening sequences, Thangaraj explains to his subordinate,
“A long time ago, the police was formed to stop our people from standing against the whites….. but it remains unchanged till date. Even after they left our country, the police are eager to serve only the ones in power. You just try to be the guardian who loves the people. That’s the noble act.”

Giving it a thought, Writer is 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.
Rating : 3.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the splendid Samuthirakani)
(Streaming on Aha)
Bobby Sing

NOTE : The article was first published in THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL Newspaper (Mumbai Edition) on 19th February 2022.

Tags : WRITER (Tamil) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Tamil Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Regional Language Gems, Not To Be Missed Regional Language Indian Films, Must Watch Thrillers.
21 Feb 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
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