What Is Good
- No commercial compromise
- Interesting Screenplay
What Is Bad
- Dubbed film feel
- Few Cliches
After venturing into Tamil films with his 2013 bilingual Neram, and later becoming a household name not just in Kerala , but also in Tamilnadu with the 2015 sensational blockbuster movie Premam, Nivin has gradually upgraded himself from a promising hero to a star, while constantly scoring hits in Malayalam like Action Hero Biju, Jacobinte Swargarajyam, Sakhavu, Njandukalude Naatil Oridavela. After 4 years, he's come back to the Tamil terrain with his first direct Tamil movie Richie, and here's team AP Herald's exclusive Richie FDFS review.
The film begins with journalist Megha (Shraddha Srinath) venturing into writing about a high profile murder case, and the proceedings that lead her to 5 different people, with different versions of the murder. Who's Richie (Nivin Pauly), what happened to him, and how is Selvam (Natraj) involved in the murder, and how Richie and Selvam crossed paths and was Megha ultimately able to find out the real murderer by analyzing the different versions, is what the intriguing Richie is all about.
Playing the title role Richie, an arrogant, casual, angry young man and a small-time gangster, Nivin Pauly, despite the initial shortcomings in dubbing Tamil lines in the Thoothukudi slang, slowly grows in confidence as the screenplay progresses, and impresses with his on-screen attitude and that natural swag, reminiscent of his Premam Kalippu act.
The second principal character Selvam, is played by Natraj, who does subtle underplay, and emotes as required, and shines as the innocent and honest fella. Though Shraddha Srinath doesn't get to occupy maximum screen time in this movie which is all about Nivin - Natty conflict, she impresses as the bold, intelligent girl, out to find the truth, and she does a commendable job with convincing expressions and neat lip sync.
Shraddha has given a varied performance from her previous journalist act in her debut U Turn. Prakashraj as the priest who doesn't have a hold over his spoilt son and Thulasi are adequate.
Ajaneesh Loknath impresses with his stunning theme BGM and of his songs, sollathaan ninaikiren is hum-worthy. Cinematography by Pandikumar is top notch, as he captures the coastal flavour of Thoothukudi and Manappad areas beautifully, and presents raw violence and darkness in all Glory.
Taut Editing by Athul Vijay ensures that Richie is a tight and gripping movie experience at less than 2 hours. Debutant director Gautham Ramachandran, coming from the school of Director Mysskin, has made an interesting debut with a remake of a cult classic ulidavaru Kandanthe (Kannada), that was appreciated for its brilliant screenplay and making, and he has stayed mostly faithful to the original and has given a winner.
By perfectly casting Nivin and Natty in contrasting characters and using Shraddha to unveil their tussle and their relationship, and how they crossed paths with an interesting screenplay, Gautham makes a neat debut, without spoiling the original. He has extracted fine performances even from the supporting cast including Thulasi, Raj Bharath, Murugadoss, and Prakashraj, while also being an uncompromising maker who has retained the soul of the original and hasn't killed it by changing the crucial finale. All said, with stunning performances, technical finesse, and good music, this Richie is a gripping watch.
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