I don’t think southern cinema industry has ever made a slick technological thriller and it’s one of the few unexplored genres. ‘Pullivaal’, which was originally made in Malayalam as ‘Chaappa Kurishu’, which was in turn inspired from Korean flick ‘Handphone’, could’ve been an excellent film in the aforementioned genre, but it gets sabotaged due to sloppy narration and like countless other remakes, it turns out to be another horrible remake.
Prasanna plays a successful businessman with a weakness for women. He is engaged to Iniya, but tricks his efficient co-worker Oviya to fall for him and convinces her to sleep with him. When Oviya learns that Prasanna is getting married to Iniya, a fight occurs between the two and in the heat of the moment he loses his mobile. Accidentally, Vimal finds the mobile, which has an intimate video featuring Prasanna and Oviya. Upon realizing that he has lost his phone, Prasanna tries to recover it because he is afraid that the video may be released online.
The film addresses a domestic issue in the internet age, but not with conviction. It has spurts of brilliance but doesn’t capitalize on it to build a thrilling narrative. The problem is that it attempts to entertain with intermittent humour, which by the way was irksome, and in the process fails to keep you hooked to the seats. If only, it was made sans commercial toppings, we could’ve had an edge-of-the-seat thriller.
It is populated with flaws that range from being stupid to outright irritating. For instance, even when you keep a phone switched off for many days, it is bound to drain. But the phone Vimal picks up doesn’t run out of charge for several days and only dies when the particular scene requires it to. There are several such scenes that lack logic in the film, which has an extremely awful first half. The humour mostly makes you cringe in your seats and that’s not a good sign for the film at the box-office.
Prasanna is the only saving grace, while Vimal is passable. Soori is wasted in a role where he mostly spends time mouthing SMS forwards. Heroines Oviya and Iniya have brief roles with hardly scope for performance. Thambi Ramaiah, who was funny in few scenes, turned out to be the most annoying character in the film.
The film’s background score is loud and jarring that some dialogues were extremely difficult to comprehend. There’s no harm in remaking a film, but there’s no harm in being little creative to making the film suit the sensibilities of local audience.