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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Cold Case movie review: A lousy horror-thriller where Prithviraj and Aditi Balan are sleepwalking

Cold Case movie review: This film has a very conventional premise of a dead person seeking justice from beyond the grave or, in this case, out of a rickety fridge.

Rating: 1 out of 5
Written by Manoj Kumar R | Bengaluru |
Updated: June 30, 2021 12:10:26 pm
Prithviraj in Cold Case. (Photo: Amazon Prime Video)

Cold Case movie star cast: Prithviraj, Aditi Balan
Cold Case movie director: Tanu Balak
Cold Case movie ratings: 1 star

If director Tanu Balak and writer Sreenath V Nath thought making a film that combines the elements of crime thriller and horror was challenging, they should try writing a review of Cold Case without making it sound like a rant coming from depths of despair. Where does one even begin to complain about this film? Should we begin with the giant plot hole? Or the general pretentious tone of narration? Or the endless flow of logical errors that make a mockery of the audience’s intelligence? How about Tanu Balak’s failure to string together a meaningful sequence of images despite being a cinematographer himself?

Cold Case has a very conventional premise of a dead person seeking justice from beyond the grave or, in this case, from a rickety fridge. The film opens with sequences of rituals of exorcism followed in different religions. It is part of an “investigative” news report about how the dead use the living as the medium to bring those who have wronged them to justice.

The TV show is put together by Medha Padmaja (Aditi Balan). She is going through a lean phase, both professionally and personally. It seems her ghost stories are not bringing enough eyeballs for the channel, and she is also in the midst of her divorce. Not long ago, she lost her young sister to suicide. However, she is not troubled by the drop in ratings, her failed marriage or the mysterious death of her sister. She has no inner demons to fight or emotional turmoil to overcome. She makes for an excellent candidate to teach how not to allow personal tragedies affect a good night’s sleep. But, she makes for a poor lead character for a drama.

In a scene, Medha narrates the incidents leading up to the death of her sister in a shockingly casual manner to her lawyer Haritha (Lakshmi Priyaa Chandramouli). Aditi performs the scene without hinting at any residual pain or regret in her character. Not just Aditi, none of the actors add depth to their characters. Everyone seems to be sleepwalking in the film, including Prithviraj.

A fisherman hauls in a garbage bag, which holds a mutilated skull. The incident captures the media’s attention, forcing the police department to dedicate its best resources to the case. Enter, Prithviraj’s ACP M. Sathyajith. A media-savvy, clean-shaven top cop, who is seemingly still in awe of himself over his recent weight loss. Seriously, Prithviraj seems so preoccupied flaunting his shrunken waistline that his performance takes a back seat. Every scene focuses on how glamorous Prithviraj look in a cop’s uniform as he broods standing at the window of his office, or travelling in his car. None of the actors has really committed to their characters.

The grimness and pretentious tone of the film is a dead giveaway of Sreenath V Nath’s cluelessness about the material he’s dealing with. The screenplay is full of errors that ruins the interest of the audience in the movie. The puzzles are too easy to solve, and narrative errors are so depressingly silly to forgive. The editing senselessly jumps from one scene to another and we are treated to camera movements, which have no meaning and do nothing to improve a mediocre story.

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