S A Chandrasekhar returns to directing after a hiatus -- and stays faithful to his favourite genre.
SAC has a reputation for making movies with a legal angle and, more often than not, courtroom dramas -- vide his famous Sattam Oru Iruttarai (Andha Kanoon, in Hindi).
In Dost, SAC takes the Tommy Lee Jones--Ashley Judd starrer Double Jeopardy as his muse, and twists it around a bit to suit the Indian palate.
While on that, is it time this business of remaking foreign films comes in for debate?
SAC is not the first, nor will he be the last -- come to think of it, the selfsame Double Jeopardy provided grist for Mita Vashist, who fashioned that into a television drama. Question though is, are such remakes -- without acknowledging the source -- fair practice?
Dost meanwhile is the story of two friends -- played by Sharat Kumar and Raghuvaran. Sharat is the rich man who is casual about money, Raghuvaran the poor guy who is hell bent on making money. The former is widowed, and has a perky little daughter, the latter is married.
On the day of Raghuvaran's wedding anniversary, the two friends go off in a boat to have a drink or three. Raghuvaran gets drunk and a friendly drinking session turns ugly with Raghuvaran accusing his friend of being more than good friends with his wife and next thing you know, he's gone missing. There is blood all over the place, and Sharat Kumar is accused, and
convicted, of his murder.
The rest of the story follows reasonably closely on the lines laid down by Double Jeopardy, except of course that here, it is a male -- Sharat Kumar -- who is central to the story, whereas in the English movie Ashley Judd is the protagonist.
A dancer, played by Abhirami, and a no-nonsense cop, played by Prakash Rai (or Raj, if you will) are the other ingredients used to move the story along to the denouement.
Besides the story, the director has borrowed a couple of scenes from the English version. And tagged on a take-off of Face Off, with Sharat Kumar, having broken out of jail when he learns that the friend he is supposed to have killed is alive and flourishing, borrowing the cop's face for a bit.
There are a couple of logical flaws in the film -- for instance, the motive trotted out to justify the murder charge against Sharat doesn't quite ring true.
Again, Raghuvaran's wife preferring to remain quiet about her husband's duplicity and let Sharat rot in jail does not quite go with the way the relationship between the two is portrayed.
Having said that, Dost is eminently watchable, keeping you engrossed throughout.
The director has kept the story flow tight, and he's been backed by good performances by Sharat Kumar, Raghuvaran and Prakash Rai.
Abhirami, as Sharat's love interest, and Indhu, as Raghuvaran's wife, don't really have much to do, but prove competent during the few scenes that demand a level of acting.
Kasthuri, the actress who last year did very well in the Siddharth Basu quiz show Mastermind but whose film career hasn't exactly set the marquee on fire, puts in a one song appearance in the film.
Another highlight is singer Swarnalatha turning in a 'breathless' type song picturised on Sharat and Abhirami -- and doing a very good job of it too.
The film flies the Lakshmi Movie Makers banner and other credits include music by Deva and camera by Vijay Milton.
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