By Manigandan K.R,
Film: Carbon (Releasing in Theatres). Duration: 125 minutes.
Director: Srinuvasan. Cast: Vidhaarth, Dhanya B., Marimuthu and Munar Ramesh.
IANS Rating: ***1/2
Director Srinuvasan's 'Carbon' is a refreshingly fresh investigative thriller that keeps you hooked from start to finish, thanks to an innovative plot that has some really interesting twists right till the very end.
The film's story revolves around Shankar (Vidaarth), a wannabe policeman who ends up taking up a job in a private firm because of a quarrel with his dad (played by Marimuthu).
Shankar has a strange gift. He often has dreams and more importantly, his dreams come true.
One night, the man dreams of his dad being hit by a black SUV. The nightmare leaves him shaken. He wakes up breaking into a sweat and frantically begins to search for his dad only to realise that he has had an accident just as he had dreamed.
Shankar rushes his unconscious dad to the hospital, where doctors tell him that it's imperative that they perform a surgery that is going to cost him a fortune. The only way out for Shankar will be to find the person responsible for the accident and claim the insurance amount.
With the cops not making any serious effort to find the driver of the vehicle, Shankar realises he will have to carry out the investigation himself.
It is at this point that one night, sitting beside his dad's bed, he dozes off out of sheer exhaustion. That's when he has a dream in which he sees the SUV that caused the accident. The door of the SUV opens and just as the driver is to get out, Shankar is woken up by the woman who cleans the hospital ward.
In the desperate hope that the same dream could reappear if he did all the tasks that he did that particular day, Shankar attempts a repeat the next day.
Things don't work out initially and the dream does not appear. Waiting for the dream to recur, Shankar, with the help of his sharp sense of observation, realises that it was not just a hit-and-run case; it was actually an attempt to murder his dad. Who would want to murder his dad and why would they want to do it? Does Shankar find out the criminal? And does he save his dad? 'Carbon' gives you the answers.
The film is a gripping thriller and full marks to director Srinuvasan for having told the story in a neat and compact manner. Half of the credit for the film being tight and gripping should go to editor K.L. Praveen for his brilliant cuts. There are absolutely no unnecessary scenes and the story moves at a blistering pace, right from the word 'go'.
Within the first 10 minutes of the film, the director showcases the strong bond of love between the father and son, who despite not being on talking terms with each other, deeply care about one another. And within the same period, he also explains everything about Shankar's dreams and their tendency to come true.
Sam CS's background score provides ample support to the director who is looking to narrate a gripping thriller. His score captures the mood and amplifies it, making sure the audience has no trouble in understanding the emotion the director is looking to convey.
Vidhaarth as Shankar is just outstanding in the film, which incidentally happens to be his 25th. He plays the part to perfection and wins your heart hands down.
Dhanya B, who appears in the film just before the intermission, is perfect for the role and delivers a commendable performance. The reason why the second half is as intense as the first is primarily because of Dhanya's characterisation and contribution.
Maarimuthu as Vidhaarth's dad delivers a commendable performance. The care and concern that he showcases while appearing to be strict to his son is just so adorable.
Director Srinuvasan, while narrating a thrilling entertainer, also actually highlights a fact that Tamil cinema has often chosen to misinterpret. It looks to set the record straight with regard to dad-son relationships and highlights that for every son his dad is a hero. And that invariably, sons love their dads as much as their mothers, if not more.
Some of the dialogues in the film are deep and hit the nail on the head. For instance, there is this scene in which the heroine asks the hero, "Sons are supposed to be close to their mothers. You seem to be different." To this, the hero replies, "When a man's mother passes away, her place is filled by his wife. But when a man's dad passes away, that place remains vacant. Which is why sons miss dads a lot more than their mothers. The position that dads hold in a son's life is special."
It is not as if the film has no problems. There are some lapses in logic towards the end of the film. Also, the manner in which cops are showcased in the film dents the realism somewhat. But these are small lapses which can be forgiven.
On the whole, 'Carbon' is a good, neat, sleek investigative thriller that is definitely worth your time.