Shivaji Surathkal - This homegrown Sherlock deals with an interesting premise but isn't as intelligent as he aspires to be!
A high profile murder in the town of Ranagiri needs to be resolved quickly and the officials can think of no other name but Shivaji Surathkal. Enters our hero and he has only two days to identify the murderer. He immediately deciphers a whole lot of things about the manager of the resort (where the murder has taken place) after hardly having a look at him. Ala Sherlock, he explains the reasoning for his deductions. The manager is stunned! But are we? Not so at this point, particularly with Ramesh Aravind not exactly selling the character's intelligence successfully to us.
The hero starts his investigation and we are introduced to every person at the resort. The film also has a supernatural angle hovering over it. Was it a murder or is there more to it than meets the eye? The film has us reasonably interested but there is no real tension. The performances are one reason and they are passable at best. Amateurish is how you would define what most of the actors offer on screen. For a film that is supposed to keep us guessing and also project its hero as super brainy, it only succeeds partially on both counts. At times it even makes you wonder if it is a spoof. Sample this. Electricity fluctuates and the power goes off at crucial times in the night at the resort. The hero finds out the person behind this and his reasoning is that the guy is an Electrical Engineer!
Giving a personal angle to the protagonist with respect to the investigation works in both ways for the film. While it makes some sense in the climax, the to and fro narration doesn't help to keep the proceedings tight. The reveal at the end does work but it also happens at the cost of logical loopholes. A palmist predicts about the hero's past in a particular scene. We later get to know that this was planned but then this condradicts with what happens in the climax.
A harmless watch if you can excuse the lack of finesse. An interesting premise but the film is hardly as intelligent as it projects itself to be and the amateurish performances don't help.