Manoj Nadulamane’s film’s biggest flaw is the casting of the central character.
Last Updated: 06.54 AM, Mar 10, 2023
Story: Mary (Anoosha Bhat), a Bengaluru-based professional with a passion for photography, takes off on a two-day solo trip to the Chikkamagaluru area. But her hopes of a peaceful and quiet time is dashed when a bunch of revellers at the resort she’s staying at, have a rather loud birthday party. A heated exchange ensues between her and the group, following which they go their separate ways, only for one of them to return for vengeance and molest her. Determined to seek justice, she heads to the police station, where the newly-joined sub-Inspector Ravi Kumar (Vikash Uthaiah) promises swift action against the perpetrators. But then Mary’s fiancé John also gets there and it emerges that there’s more to her story than she’s been letting on.
Review: Director Manoj Nadalumane, who not long ago debuted with the supernatural thriller called Aana with Aditi Prabhudeva in the lead, returns with yet another thriller. This time around, his film, Mary (Anoosha), unfolds predominantly in one location – a small police station in Chikkamagaluru. A young woman’s petition to find the balaclava-clad perpetrator who molested her and the primary investigation into the crime forms the first part of the narrative, which is quite fast paced, considering that the film is just under an hour and half in length. Mary’s motive, though, is not to get justice and by the time inspector Ravi Kumar (Vikash) realizes that, it’s a tad too late.
Manoj employs a realistic approach for the most part in the police station sequences; especially in the way he has Vikash, as Ravi, handle affairs in the absence of his superior officer. But then, the narrative switches gears and becomes about a rescue mission and while it is fathomable that a group of armed people could lay siege on a police station with limited manpower, the reason behind the operation is not well established. The major flaw here is the casting of the character who’s being busted out of the station – an extremely dangerous and violent criminal and leader of a rebel group. Manoj’s choice here is an actor who does not have the required personality or gravitas to pull off a fear-inducing character. Since the character makes zilch impact on the viewing audience, when the rescue mission is at play, it makes you wonder whether it is worth the effort. A better, more experienced, actor here would have made a world of a difference.
Verdict: Mary is not the most nail-bitingly engrossing thriller, but its fast-paced narrative doesn’t allow for lags and conveys the story quickly. The film is a bit of a let-down in the second half, but these are still early days for the filmmaker and it is commendable that he’s still trying do something out-of-the-box, instead of resorting to tried-and-tested formulae after the failure of Aana. Mary is a one-time watch if you enjoy films in the crime thriller genre. It’s got a very limited theatrical release, though.