Murder, he tried
Despite my joy for blasting movies that could have nailed it, but failed to, I decided to lose skepticism in Muran. The film, inspired by Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, tries hard to let its characters fall in the right place. However, too much curiosity kills the cat. The same happens in the Tamil film starring Prasanna and Cheran in the lead roles. Despite those flaws, the film seemed to take off well. But, that cringing sense of losing commercialism sends the lead characters into an extensive fight scene with drunkards.
Characters in spoof films (Scary Movie, Meet The Spartans or Goa) broke the fourth wall often. The characters knew it was a movie, and nothing’s gonna go wrong. But, when in a thriller like Muran, breaking the fourth wall by announcing a fight sequence, or the intermission, or even the item number, seemed lame. How are we gonna stay thrilled when your lead character blatantly announces “keep thinking while I take a break and come back.”
Muran joins the long list of Tamil films which had a concept that failed to materialize despite an excellent technical team. The writing was novel and didn’t sound alien to the setting. Most of the dialogues felt improvised and those wisecracks between set the tone for an entertaining thriller.
For instance, Prasanna plays Cheran, a video of his wife cheating with another man, on his cell phone and then says “Semma clarity-la.”
Wit as a background for the first half and guilt as the central theme of the second half, Rajan Madhav fails to evoke the thrill factor. And right when the movie reclaims the thrill, he brings on an item number, which however cut short, ruins the day.
Prasanna as the spoilt rich kid makes it while Cheran staggers with his guitar and a neatly trimmed French beard. The heroines must line up their dubbing artistes and execute them with a firing squad. Especially, Suma Bhattacharya, who should have stuck to English, but tries some tough Tamil words that Christian women generally don’t use.
How come the filmmaker didn’t emphasize on Prasanna’s psychopathic behavior when he’s seen killing fearlessly. Loopholes are aplenty in the second half. And, what is it with drinking off the highway? Was it meant to be cool or divulging?
The one star for Muran is for the attempt made to recapture the Hitchcockian thrill. But, even when it failed, it shouldn’t have lost hope and turned into a messy affair.