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Dejavu review: Arulnithi shoulders a thriller with little logic

Dejavu, headlined by Arulnithi and Achyuth Kumar, loses a chance to make it a riveting thriller.

  • S Subhakeerthana

Last Updated: 11.41 PM, Jul 24, 2022

Dejavu review: Arulnithi shoulders a thriller with little logic
Arulnithi in Dejavu

Plot: In the middle of the night, a novelist (Achyuth Kumar) storms into the police station to complain about harassment calls. He claims characters from his latest work are calling him and threatening him. As a result of his drunken condition, the police officials do not take his complaint seriously. What eventually unfolds forms the storyline.

Review: It is ideal to combine logic and thrillers. We wish Dejavu, directed by newbie Aravindh Srinivasan, had been more persuasive and sensible. Nevertheless, the film has a few edge-of-the-seat moments. In a book describing a young woman's kidnap, a drunken novelist with Extra Sensory Perception writes a page that turns out to be true the next day. As an audience, you feel puzzled, although you kind of buy into his act. At the same time, you know something is going to come up.

After a woman called the control room the previous night claiming the writer was involved in her kidnapping, the police rush to the novelist's house and arrest him. It is revealed that DGP Madhoo Shah's daughter is missing, and the police believe it could be the same person who called the control room. To avoid being swayed by her emotions, the DGP appoints special officer Vikram Kumar (Arulnithi) to investigate the case.

Although the characters are established, Dejavu doesn't take us directly into the plot. The neverending twists and turns happen till we get the end card. When we learn who triggers the murder spree, logic gets thrown out the window. While Vikram continues to proceed with his investigation, the novelist's notes, on the other hand, provide hints as to what will happen next. With such a setup, you'd think the movie would play it all out and take us to places we'd never seen before. But, it exactly does the opposite.

There are some thrills, thanks to the sound effects. But, for the film to maintain momentum, it needs a parallel investigation track to complement the writer's prediction game. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen that way. The audience, instead, ends up thinking this-is-how-it-will end sorts, which ruins the experience completely.

Also, I don't remember the last time I saw a DGP with heavy eye make-up and lipstick. Every time the camera zooms in, you can't help but notice how fresh her face looks, as if she just had a touch-up. This DGP says she chose to mercy kill a rape survivor because she knew it would be "hard for her to live in this world!" I was at a loss for words when I heard a woman say this, especially someone who knew the law and order.

Seasoned actor Achyuth Kumar provides adequate support; part of the credit goes to MS Bhaskar, who has dubbed for the Kannada actor's character.

Verdict: The narration shifts to each character's backstory, which tests your patience. A flashback within a flashback occurs. Each episode appears disconnected from the whole, with no smooth narration flow. The film has a unique plot, but it is marred by amateur directing. Dejavu's plot had the potential to become a riveting thriller. However, the screenplay lacks focus. At most, the film can be considered a debutante's ambitious attempt to make a film that is different from the norm.