Starcast: Rahman, Ashwini Kumar, Prakash, Praveen, Sharath Kumar, Bala Haasan, Anjana Jai Prakash and Yaashika Aanand.
Edited by Sreejith Sarang
Cinematography by Sujith Sarang
Directed by Karthick Naren
Censor Certificate: UA & Runtime: 108 Minutes
“16” thematically is operating on multiple levels, but chiefly concerns the ability of people in positions of responsibility to make other deceived, resulting in disastrous mismanagement. It is a mundane crime drama, where the aam aadmi is coined into a web of issues. It really digs down into inhuman potential on individual level and society level.
On a rainy night beast of darkness strikes hard in the form of a chain reaction. But the reaction ends its deadly effect on one police officers life after a period of five years. This is the kind of thrilling experience that you can await in a thriller this time you get ‘Served cold and subtle’.
In a minefield of logical flaws and illogical conclusions it is a group of blind folded army man, who try to achieve a logical conclusion don’t you get me, those are the writers for a thriller movie. When it comes to ‘D 16’ the young director and writer is very clever in deciding what is the selling point for his story and tried to capture without any deviations. Even though there are more than a few very convenient logics in the entire movie. The point he tried to convey was bang on. The characterizations in the movie are true without any fake intellectuality and qualities that suddenly make them superior to the common beings. When it comes to narrating from different point of views within one person’s perspective the director shows his intelligence. In creating an interest at least for the first half, but going for the money twist, he faltered a bit in logics, we will discuss about further in detail, but right now let’s look at heights he reached.
In any movie a perfect screenplay is one that flows like a wave form preferably a sine-wave, so that it can excite you make you feel like you have watched something extra ordinary. In a thriller lows are the boring investigative drama and highs are the emotional connectivity and a kick to solve the crime. In ‘D 16’ director Karthick explores this form of narrative structure with aplomb accuracy, while he succeeds in engaging viewer he does fall prey for a money twist in the end. It’s not that the twisted ending doesn’t give a wholeness to the script, but may be at certain points the director could have gone a little bit more out of the box to satisfy the appetite of a regular crime patrol viewer, it implies that he did a good job. To attain perfection he needs to work more on writing an investigative drama with clues spread out from the first sequence itself.
Its heartening to see a young director try out this complex script but he did miss some logics through the runtime and they feel very convenient too. (Spoilers Ahead) 1. Why does Vyshnavi files a case about her friend Shruti missing in first place, as both culprits are killed and no way police could have reached their doors to question about the murder. 2. Rahman never tries to check the call records and media messages of Krish/Shruti/Mano. 3. Rajeev never fears for the way crime unfolds during the course of the night, it is hard to understand even though the character is police officers son. How can he be so cold blooded, when such heinous crimes are happening in front of his eyes to his loved one. 4. How come a retired police officer in India, what ever rank they might have served, started carrying their service revolvers. 5. May be the duty constable might have got injured in a brutal accident while on duty how come he was able to survive five years in coma and an advance face drafting. Who paid for him? If someone was there where they have gone. 6. Why did Deepak conveniently forget Gautham all this time, what happened to his parental instinct that saved his son. 7. Deepak as a police officer seems to be too lazy as he advises young constables about the basics, but forgets to hold prime suspects in the stations and leaves the witnesses also. If we keep listing it out the it goes on and on and on. I don’t want to spoil your fun.
A director’s brilliance lies in understanding the visual narrative of a story and engaging audience to build a perspective of their own. Camera work and BGM help him in that task. Coming to ‘D16’ it is highly refreshing to see a young guy of 22 years understanding the simple yet complex techniques. He doesn’t falter in filling the scene with details required and doesn’t bore you by over indulging himself into it. A director is a person who understands, when to show off and when to hold back. In Telugu, we can say ‘Yekkada Neggalo Kadhu Ekkada Thaggalo Telisina Vaade Director.’ Karthick shows a potential for a bright future although he does need to give up on clichés as he relies upon them to create suspense in this film.
In a movie camera is not a tool, but it’s a viewer’s eye. Our Telugu cinematographers and directors have missed those logics and they keep on continuing the same mistakes over and over again. A 22 year old kid Karthick Naren showed that its not any rubics cube puzzle to understand and solve, visual language. He does understand which shot and what angle delivers the desired effect. If he shows the same or even grows better with his second movie, he can be called next Karthik Subbaraj or if possible a Manirathnam. For example, in the opening shots you cannot guess if that was real or surreal or if the director is taking you for a ride. You are just directly engaged into the script and the proceedings. In crime patrol dominated world it is hard to engage an audience group for 108 minutes straight in a theatre with multi layered narrative and clever twists. He grounds his subjects firmly in a darker setting and slowly moves towards the light, when you watch the movie observe why the film starts during a rainy night and ends on a still cold winter day (yes! That’s right). Also, observe the minute things like, why there are three Chinese buddha’s? Why there is a certain picture, hanged tilted in a Police Station. For a keen eye, you will be able to observe, How an investigation proceeds with further and further interesting elements taking it naturally forward. So, his writing and direction was quite solid for his age and hope he continues to grow, but while it appears to be naturally progressing it hinders at one point and one point only ie, is Karma is a b**** (oops, boomerang). To achieve that he does try to create few artificial situations towards the end of the movie. As far as the flaws in the direction department goes, several continuity shots were missing and some adjustments were made for the purpose of the budget. You can give that to him, hopefully he gets more budget and even more time to spend on art in his future movies. At some points even if there was no need for high dramatic value camera pans he just went for it and they are normally known as Money shots.
Cinematography was top notch highlight in this movie. It dwells perfectly into the script and never tries to overpower it. This can be prescribed as a lesson for upcoming director to understand logistics of visual story telling without being too peppered with abundance of knowledge. Its bookish knowledge helps you form theories, but practicality helps you understand and watch it from a perspective. Editing by Sreejith Sarang is good as he was successful in creating a tone for the film, but at times cut does appear to a bit force. BGM by Jakes Bijoy is okay, syncs well with the mood of the film. He needs to come up with original as villain.
Rehman already in his younger days did a similar kind of movie in Malayalam ‘Kariyilakkattu Pole’ again with maturity he shows that wine becomes more tastier with time. He is the crux of the story due to him we are engaged through to the last second of the runtime. It can be rated as one of his best performances. Singer Hema Chandra does a good in voice acting his role. Ashwini Kumar stands out of the rest the others appears to be highly raw, but they bring the character to the movie.
When it comes to exploring edgy subjects with visual story telling in Telugu Shiva, Mudda Mandaram, Antham, Geethanjali, Jyothi, Seetha Ramayya Gari Manavaralu are the best examples where director speaks directly to the audience with his content rather than any gimmicks. There are many in English, and a young director from Tamil putting up such a show is encouragable. He needs to work on developing a script, without giving into clichés and in future he needs to remember ‘Less trodden path is hard to explore, but that’s when your potentiality turns into genius’. My sincere advise will be to not get carried away by this success, so that he can explore, learn further as he progresses. All in All, Go for it! 16 Every Detail Counts is a passable thriller.
Survi Review: 2.5/5 (Rated 0.5 more for the execution)