Netrikann, a remake of the 2011 Korean film Blind, ties us to the edge of our seats for most part, despite spanning 2 hours, 25 minutes. The best part of the Milind Rau movie, which started streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar, is the ability of the director to infuse sentiments to his characters thereby forcing us to sympathise with them.
Nevertheless, some dud moments are also the by-product of this treatment. The film opens with a party scene where young Adithya is seen getting calls from his sister Durga played by Nayanthara. She is a CBI officer and is against Adithya getting involved with 'his drugged friends'. She picks him from the pub and on their way back, they meet with an accident. And with that Durga loses her eyesight – an interesting premise to begin with.
Similar to Mysskin's Psycho which had a visually challenged protagonist chasing a psycho killer, in Netrikann too, a visually challenged Durga encounters a psychopath.
While Mysskin treated his characters with more complexity, Milind Rau, who has also written the screenplay of the film, sticks to the cat-and-mouse game. While we feel that Durga would make use of her CBI officer tag to investigate the case, she barely does that -- except in the first encounter scene. Rather, the film stays true to sub-Inspector Manikandan's character, the cop heading the case filed by Durga. His character is well written and played to perfection by actor Manikandan.
Furthermore, to lace some sentiments to the character of the antagonist Dr James, played by Ajmal, the plot offers a backstory, throwing up some medical jargon.
At the same time, Netrikann has its moments too. For instance when Durga meets an agent, she puts on sunglasses and in response comes the dialogue, “Mysskin thangachi ah nee?” (are you Mysskin's sister) referring to the filmmakers' signature appearance with dark glasses. In yet another scene during the climax, the way Durga disconnects electricity was interesting, displaying the character's helplessness and guts at the same time.
And all these were well lit by lady superstar Nayanthara. Shorn of glamour, but with an elegant approach for the character, Nayanthara infuses an arresting screen presence. Though her character runs on sentiments, we barely get to see her emotional struggle that she suffers.
The cinematography by RD Rajasekhar captures the mood with varied colour tones.
Though the movie somewhat tries to be a faithful remake setting with Indian audience, the loopholes makes Netrikann less convincing. A juggling thriller, the film could be a one-time watch for the lady superstar fans.
(The movie is available on Disney plus Hotstar)