Kurukshetram is the Telugu dubbed version of the Kannada crime thriller, ‘Nibunan’, starring Arjun Sarja in the lead role. Sruthi Hariharan, Prasanna, and Varalaxmi played key roles. Arun Vaidyanathan wrote, co-produced, and directed the film. It is the 150th film for Arjun. The film was released on 21 Sep 2018.
Ranjith Kalidoss (Arjun) is the deputy superintendent of police and an expert in the investigation who never failed in any of his cases. After solving 99 cases and before moving to the desk job, he is challenged with a high-profile case that involves a series of murders. The criminal leaves clues for Ranjith after every murder. Who is the criminal, why he chose to challenge Ranjith, and how Ranjith solves the case form the crux of the story.
The film starts with an interesting premise and the first half is gripping. But the second half slows down with sub-tracks. The story is inspired by the film Zodiac as there are many elements lifted directly from it. The director is either over-confident or ignorant to call the Indian cops Deputy, Chief, and Detective. At some point, it feels like he has written the script for a Hollywood film but made it here without any changes. There are many flaws throughout the film. Arjun works alone with a team of just 2 people with him, the killer roams freely in the city, despite cracking the case, the entire second half stretched unnecessarily, etc.
The investigation part is interesting from the perspective of the regular audiences but is heavily cliched. The filmmaker designed the puzzles and riddles with a lot of care. The connections between crimes and the approach of Arjun are interesting. The family of Arjun is just padding as they have no role in the thriller except being audience to the proceedings. The team appears as a bunch of losers as Arjun finds clues, saves them during missions, and investigates alone. The hero elevation doesn’t work in thrillers as there are several other things to consider. The mood and tone of the film spoils several times during the run time.
Arjun is a lifesaver in an otherwise cliched investigative thriller. He looks smart and is more energetic than the younger duo Prasanna and Varalaxmi. Prasanna carries his question mark face throughout the film, and Varalaxmi poses as the genius. Sruthi Hariharan is decent. Suman and Suhasini appear in crucial roles and their performance is impressive.
The script is weak but the theme is strong. The film would have been a lot better with a proper script. The production values are decent but the film would’ve been better with a higher budget. The cinematography is good and the low light scenes are impressive. The background score is good and elevates the scenes. The editing is crisp and the scenic order is good. The direction is extremely bad and childish. It appears as if the director intentionally spoiled the film with his over-smart approach.
Kurukshetram is a decent crime thriller that impresses the audience in bits and pieces. Overall, it is a one-time watch for the fans of the genre.
Director: Arun Vaidyanathan
Date Created: 2018-09-21 11:00