Mr. Chandramouli – Interesting crux, average output
Thiru seems to be a filmmaker who doesn't want to play it safe. His treatment is definitely mainstream but he explores stories (or atleast parts within a film) that might not usually fit into our template commercial cinema. Mr.Chandramouli is another such attempt and much like his previous films this is another instance where the end result remains a mixed bag, despite some solid twists and a fairly engaging narration.
The casting of the father-son duo is more than a gimmick here. The plot does have a lot to do with what happens between these 2 characters. But Karthik plays his role in a manner that comes across as wannabe. And the irony is that he is not trying to ape someone else but his own former histrionics. 'Periya Mouna Raagam Karthik nu nenaippu' is a dialogue that we keep hearing in our films. But here, this is how we feel seeing him try to play this righteous man with a lot of innocence. He does make a mark in the more emotional scenes in the later half but I realy wished he did not ham it up in the earlier scenes. Gautham on the other hand seems to have learnt the trick of the trade. He goes about his business quite unassumingly.
The first half keeps losing steam whenever it tries to show the fun bond between the father-son duo and Regina. But the main plot about the crimes associated with a cab service is quite interesting. Again, the execution of some parts could have been better but you cannot deny that there is definitely some solid engagement quotient here. The twists work and they keep piling up in the last leg of the film and the film does end on a much higher note than you might have anticipated. The Varalakshmi episode is dealt pretty well. While Thiru knows that he is venturing into an area that is not common in our films, the fact that he treats this episode casually is what is impressive. The film could have benefitted much more if the highpoints in the narration were more evenly spaced out. This is a film that needed us to buy into the emotional bond very strongly, feel gutted at the loss of someone and then rejoice when the hero hits back. All these happen but not on the scale that they ought to have.
Thiru can definitely fine tune the way he executes few key scenes. For instance, let us look into some of the murders in the film. They are committed by people who take money to do the same. But during the murder they behave as though they are drug induced psychos who relish the very act of killing. Also, when he has ensured that he shoots a beach song sensuously without being crude he certainly can think of a better scene or place to fit in the song.
Mr. Chandramouli should have been extremely interesting on paper. On screen, it turns out to be a passable masala. But Thiru reinstates our belief that if he can polish a few rough edges he can make those really interesting thrillers in the commercial space.