Varalaxmi and the dog look helpless in this immature murder mystery!
Actress Varalaxmi's direct digital release film for the Zee5 platform is titled Danny and has just got a release. Touted to be a dog based murder mystery, this 90 minute cop film set in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu. Has Danny got the grip on it's audience?
Danny starts off with a mysterious murder of a young girl that takes place in the paddy fields of Thanjavur. After this particular murder night, we are introduced to the dog named Danny that is owned by Vela Ramamoorthy and the police department. This intelligent dog never fails to impress and always solves the crime. Enter Varalaxmi (Kunthavai), a police officer who takes over this case and whether she solves it with the help of the Labrador dog Danny forms for the rest of the story.
Though the film's runtime is just about 95 minutes, Danny seems to lack clarity and finesse right from the beginning. Be it the way the murder sequence is explained or the introduction of the key characters, the necessary twists & reveals, everything seems staged and artificial. This is a big letdown as a murder mystery requires for excellent detailing and smart writing which seems to be barely exist in this dog-cop film.
As for the casting equation, Varalaxmi does fit in as the police officer and her acting alongside the dog is probably the only saving grace. The other characters played by Anita Sampath(Kunthavai's sister), Vela Ramamoorthy and Vinoth Kishan have decent importance. If for better character arcs and stronger characterisation, these actors could have got better results through their performances.
Even though director LC Santhanamoorthy stuck to the basics of avoiding unnecessary elements like item songs, action sequences and so on, the writing had to have more punch to hold the attention. Most of the watchers would lose interest midway solely due to the lack of engagement and intensity. A set of humour portions within the police station that the director has decided to add leaves no impact at all. In fact, if at all anything, it only hampers the already snail paced boring state of affairs.
Technically, Danny can be termed one of those very sub-ordinary films. With the growing digital era, a lot is expected out of the technical team of films that especially deal with murder mystery and action thrillers. Cinematography seems tacky and the background score is lazy. The only decent technicality could be the edit but even that seems average. The revelation of the negative role is cliched and though the actor looks right for the part, it becomes too late to hear his side of the story or empathise with any of the characters.
Overall, Danny is that film that tries hard to be genre specific but still lacks the fizz to engage OTT fans. Varalaxmi and the dog seem to have tried hard to keep us interested but the writing and lethargic making pull down this murder mystery attempt. If any positive it could just be that makers these days have become fully aware that adding commercial elements for the sake of it, would not work. But this alone cannot save a film that required a lot more groundwork and smartness. Danny is a very ordinary attempt at making an intriguing mystery film and stands far apart from the words that would define a good thriller!
A lot of loopholes & very little additives, Danny the dog is left to swim by itself in an ocean of problems!