In the second half of the film, there is a fight scene at supermarket that made me think of two resolute men playing paintball in slow motion at pointblank range. The movie appears to be fully aware of its shortcomings at every turn. But it proceeds as though with the smugness of knowing that the earth-shattering climax will somehow drag it out of the mire created by its own incompetency. Abrahaminte santhathikal is an awfully lazy, if not tedious, attempt at Crime/Thriller genre. It’s largely a straightforward story about revenge. The painfully ponderous but eventful plot is chock-full of twists that will leave you shaking your head not in awe, but in apathy.
You see a desperate man torn between his commitment to law & order, and a visceral desire to follow his heart. This tension between his external and internal self pervades the whole movie before culminating in a climax that is anything but convincing. There is only so much the gravitas of Mammooty can do to salvage a preposterous storytelling method. He is no Rajini Kanth, but nevertheless employs his sleight of hand to lift the film in its silliest moments — no mean feat. Movie wanders aimlessly in all directions, hopping from one story to another before working its way up to a blinding revelation. But much of the film is so corny that when you finally learn the big secret, you feel like rewinding the whole thing so you no longer know the secret.
Derek Abraham (Mammootty) is a respected, senior police officer with 100% proven track record of locking criminals up. So when Derek is brought in to investigate a series of murders that point towards a common killer, nobody in their right mind would bet against him; even if the killer is using a hammer to beat his victims to a pulp. Film moves swimmingly. An enigmatic villain meets a dominant hero. But just when it starts to look like we are about to witness a sweat showdown, the story takes a plunge into formulaic melodrama and thriller tropes. Derek finds his brother in trouble. In his mission to save his brother, Derek takes us into the murky world of resentment, revenge and bureaucratic conspiracy.
I’m not averse to Crime thrillers. On the contrary, I love them. What movies like Abrahaminte Santhathikal don’t understand is that the act of stretching a plain story to the point of incomprehensibility does not make a movie more suspenseful. Rather, it often puts unnecessary strain on the narrative, making it difficult for viewers to connect with it. Viewers see the conflicting personalities of Derek, largely because story has a non-linear structure that goes back forth through a series of events in his life. One minute he is the swashbuckling police officer who strikes terror into his associates and enemies alike, the next minute he’s down in the dumps for his failures as a brother.
Throughout the film you see a lot of short cuts that deny viewers a chance to settle into the environment. There are shots that document Derek’s each movement as if they were making footage of the first man’s steps on the moon. And then there are syrupy scenes where a regretful Derek is seen taking a stroll the down memory lane. By the time the film tries to connect all pieces of the puzzle, it’s either too late or far removed from the narrative.
Is it a thriller? drama? debacle? It is for the most part a colossal mess — interesting at times but bland to the point where you just don’t care anymore. My assessment of the movie will not be complete without saying a few words about the trauma-inducing film score. Although the cheesy, meaningless rap music doesn’t lift Derek’s sophistication quotient, it may well be more enjoyable with your closed eyes.