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Critics Review
100 movie review: Ramesh Aravind’s thriller is a stark reminder of the ills of social media

A cybercriminal locks horns with a cybercrime police officer; they are both good at what they do. But who will have the last laugh?

Prathibha Joy
Nov 19, 2021
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Rachita Ram, Ramesh Aravind and Purnaa in 100

Story: Inspector Vishnu is an honest officer of the cybercrime division, often tasked with tapping conversations of crooked cops and politicians for the ‘greater good’. But then, he crosses paths with a cybercriminal who may just derail all of Vishnu’s work.

Ramesh Aravind in 100

Review: Most of us are guilty of oversharing on social media – every occasion, every feeling is documented on the web – much to the delight of cybercriminals, who harvest every bit of information that can be used against us and to their benefit. We also often ignore safety and security protocols and keep our profiles open to everyone, as we crave validation in the form of likes and comments. News reports of cybercrimes, like stalking, phishing, or thefts after ‘check-in posts’ about being on holiday, etc., have not really deterred us from looking at our smart devices every now and then to check the latest on social media.

Purnaa, Ramesh Aravind and Rachita Ram in 100

This need to be ‘seen, heard and appreciated’ by strangers is what actor-filmmaker Ramesh Aravind’s taps into with his latest directorial, 100, which is in theatres today. A thriller about the evils of social media, the film has him play a cybercrime inspector called Vishnu. Although the crux of the story revolves around exploitation through social media, there’s also an angle about nefarious deals conducted by Vishnu with the use of the technology at his disposal. Tasked by his boss, played by Prakash Belawadi, to look into crooked cops and politicians by tapping their phones, Vishnu uses some of the information gleaned for his own schemes. What exactly is he up to?

When he then crosses paths with notorious cybercriminal Harsha, whose primary hobby is to woo and then entrap gullible women into sharing his bed and then blackmailing them, things get personal for Vishnu. Harsha, as it turns out, has fixed Vishnu’s sister Hima as his next target and is angling for the latter’s wife Anagha as well. Taking on the tech-smart Harsha won’t be easy though, as Vishnu finds out. Can he get his family out of this trap unscathed?

In trying to keep the thriller pacy, and at a taut 2-hour run-time only, 100 does feel rushed at times. In interviews about 100, Ramesh had said that he changed the characterization for his role around to suit his image and he sticks to his word. His every word and action as Vishnu is relatable and believable, with the actor-filmmaker not attempting anything over the top. The pairing of Purnaa and Ramesh is also rather refreshing. Debutant Vishwa Karna has good screen presence, but his ‘swalpa nagi, boss’ gets jarring after a point. Rachita Ram as Hima is at her bubbliest best in the character that was added into Susi Ganeshan’s original screenplay (Thiruttu Payale 2) by Ramesh. 

Verdict: 100 is a lesson on social media addiction and the red herrings you should be aware of. There’s a reason we are told, as children, not to talk to strangers, which we conveniently forget in adulthood, especially on social media. 100 will make you think twice before accepting a friend request next time.

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