The film, which is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, is the latest in the list of movies which has Nayanthara delivering a convincing performance, but the faltering screenplay in the latter half mars what could have been a taut thriller.
A still from Netrikann
Story: A doctor with psychopathic personality traits, who also suffers from paraphilic disorder, is after a visually-impaired woman after the latter files a police complaint against him for a hit-and-run case. She vows to save herself and a few girls who are under his custody. But will she be able to pull it off?
Review: Miind Rau's Netrikann is the Tamil adaptation of Ahn Sang-hoon's decade-old Korean film Blind. The filmmaker, however, makes some changes in it to suit the Tamil nativity even as he retains the essence of the original. The movie begins in a watering hole in Chennai where a group of friends are having fun. Enter Durga (Nayanthara), a CBI officer, who barges into the pub to nab a youngster for using drugs. It turns out he is Durga's brother - the doting sister who grew up with him in an orphanage is worried about her wayward brother - for his friendship with troublemakers. During their conversation while travelling back home, little did Durga realize that they would meet with an accident which turns her life topsy-turvy. Post the fatal mishap, she loses both her vision and brother, which leaves her disheartened for two years.
Meanwhile, cops in the city are upset with the lack of clues on a few girls gone missing, and the surge in such cases as days keep passing by leaves them puzzled. James Dinah (Ajmal Ameer), a doctor with paraphilic disorder, obsessed with torturing girls, is on the loose. One day, he comes across the purblind Durga who desperately waits for a cab. James offers her a lift disguised as a cab driver and tries to make her unconscious while she travels along with her, but in vain. Durga, who escapes luckily from his clutches, files a complaint at the police station who are after the mysterious kidnapper. A furious James who gets to know that Durga is helping the cops with ample clues decides to finish her off, while the latter vows to save herself and the girls who are kidnapped.
The film's plot is apt for a edge-of-the-seat thriller, and with someone like Nayanthara headlining it, the makers may have assumed it as a sure shot success. The succeed, too, to a large extent. Netrikann is the latest in the list of Kolamavu Kokila, Imaikaa Nodigal and Mookuthi Amman which had the actress delivering what is expected of her. She essays the role of a visually-impaired person who lives her life with regrets convincingly. The character's intelligence while helping cops with clues and acting smartly in dangerous situations are believable because of her earlier stint in the CBI. Nayanthara's body language and use of eyes as a person who lost vision appear credible and this helps the viewers empathize with the character
Ajmal Ameer in the role of a doctor who becomes a psychopath is not bad, but there are moments which make us feel that the manner in which the character was portrayed could have been made more intriguing. As a sex maniac who loves torturing girls, his histrionics in some sequences do not scare the viewers which affect the required impact. The character's flashback which delineates what made him obsessed with paraphilia looks good on paper, but is only partly engaging in execution.
Actor Manikandan, who essayed the sincere cop who is concerned over the lack of recognition from senior officers, plays his part well, and is equally good as Nayanthara in engaging the viewers. Sharan Shakti, in the role of a food delivery boy, who plays a pivotal part in the plot, shines in a few scenes.
A couple of sequences like the one in a metro station where James chase Durga and the latter's pet coming to her rescue is gripping and keep the viewers hooked. The cinematography by RD Rajasekhar stands out - the lighting pattern and shot divisions help the viewers connect with the genre.
On the downside, the latter half is a tad slow and when you expect the proceedings to speed up, the climax tests patience because of repetitive sequences with loopholes galore. Though the emotional element in the final sequence works, those who have watched the original version are likely to be disappointed with the way how Milind Rau has developed the screenplay for the Tamil audience.
Verdict: What could have been a taut thriller ended up as a one-time watch, thanks to logical loopholes, patience-testing climax and the lack of a menacing antagonist.