Film: ‘Detective’; Cast: Suresh Gopi, Sai Kumar, Sindhu Menon, Jagathy Sreekumar, Babu Namboodiri; Director: Jithu Joseph; Producer: Mahi; Music: S.P. Venkatesh
‘Detective’ is an investigative story – it opens with the apparent suicide of Sindhu Menon, wife of young political leader Mohan Kumar (Suresh Gopi) just when he is gearing up for a by-election.
The government orders a high-level inquiry. A team of officers headed by Shyam Prasad (Suresh Gopi in double role) are tasked to find out the truth behind the mysterious death.
The fact that the hunter and the quarry, both played by Suresh Gopi, are stepbrothers is supposed to heighten the drama. Alas, it doesn’t.
The slow-paced script robs the film of all excitement. Even the climax turns into something of an anticlimax. The last scene, heavily influenced by director Shaji Kailash’s ‘The Truth’, shows the final denouement in a conference room filled with powerful officials, the suspects and the public under full media glare.
But the ultimate twist in the tale puts even a comic book ending to shame.
The characterisation offered possibilities but it remains untapped. The screen presence of Suresh Gopi alone cannot lift the humdrum proceedings beyond a level.
His make-up as Shyam Prasad – with designer glasses and a chic hairdo – is interesting. But the script does not allow him to be a formidable personality. It doesn’t provide much scope for the supporting cast either.
Jagathy Sreekumar provides welcome comic relief in the first half as Shyam Prasad’s assistant. However, the screenplay unceremoniously dumps him in the second half.
There is no mystery about the film’s failure to rise above the routine. The script should be held squarely responsible for the damp squib that is ‘Detective’.