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Diary movie review: Arulnithi's earnest presence coupled with ample twists can't save this insipid screenplay

The film leaves many questions unanswered owing to its confusing narration. A set of intriguing ideas are let down by unconvincing screenplay and poor VFX 

2.5/5rating
Diary movie review: Arulnithi's earnest presence coupled with ample twists can't save this insipid screenplay

Arulnithi in Diary

  • Thinkal Menon

Last Updated: 11.41 AM, Sep 23, 2022

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Story: A young Sub Inspector takes up a 16-year-old case that revolves around the homicide of a newly-wed couple. During the course of investigation with his colleague, he finds out that the murder has a connection with a mysterious bus accident which took the lives of many people. But what leaves him stunned is the fact that the bus accident case, which still remains unsolved after a decade-and-a-half, has played a crucial part in his life. He realizes that the case begins to affect him emotionally. Will he be able to tackle the complex situation and find out the suspects?

Review: It is known that Arulnithi has a knack of choosing thriller stories with ample twists and turns. However, the two outings he had earlier this year, D Block and Dejavu, weren't impressive compared to some of the riveting mystery thrillers he has been part of.

Diary appears slightly better when it begins, thanks to its unique plot and suspense-filled moments, but ends up becoming a half-baked thriller which impresses only in parts.

The movie directed by debutant Innasi Pandiyan begins with Varadha (Arulnithi),a new Sub Inspector, picking up a case which involves the murder of a young couple that took place in Ooty 16 years ago. He reaches out to Pavitra Krishna (Pavithra Marimuthu), the cop in charge at Ooty police station, and seeks her help in the case. 

The two of them come up with interesting inferences, and learn that three culprits, who are associated with the case, have boarded a bus from Ooty to Coimbatore. Varadha manages to board the bus, but little did he know that he has several unexpected things to handle inside the vehicle full of passengers.

A poster of Diary
A poster of Diary

Diary is a classic example of a film which has an intriguing premise going haywire after the plot unfolds with the introduction of various characters. There are some interesting ideas and uninspiring sub-plots. The screenplay is quite enjoyable until the criminals behind the murder board the bus, but the story progression goes downhill after a few irrelevant characters come into the picture.

The manner in which a sense of spookiness is incorporated during the overnight bus journey, though without much purpose, entertains to an extent. But the supposedly comic track involving a youngster (played by Sha Ra) who is on his way to meet his lover dilutes the sincerity of the prime plot. Some of his witty one-liners aren't bad, but those would have worked better in a film of different genre and mood.

Quite similar is the manner in which the character of Chaams has been designed. He appears in a few unimportant sequences in the beginning, and tries hard to be a sidekick to the hero, but goes missing once the plot thickens. 

The less said about the female lead character the better as Pavithra doesn't have much to do in the story which is overshadowed completely by Arulnithi even in sequences which have scope for the former to perform. In fact, one of the shortcomings of the film is the lack of coherent characters. 

The protagonist's character, too, isn't fleshed out well, except for the surprising element that appears towards the climax. The climax sequence has enough twists and turns, but leaves you with mixed feelings. The supernatural element which has been infused to evoke emotions turns out to be a futile attempt.

Diary leaves many questions unanswered owing to its confusing narration. What holds the attention of the viewers is the suspense factor which works to an extent. The performances of artists are okayish, while the poor VFX shots test patience. 

Arulnithi in Diary
Arulnithi in Diary

Verdict: Arulnithi comes up with another mystery thriller, but misses the mark this time, too. With only a few takeaways, it is unlikely that even hardcore thriller lovers would find it interesting.

Diary is streaming on aha Tamil.

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