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Shivaji Surathkal Movie Review: The tense whodunit thriller has potential to be turned into franchis- Cinema express

Shivaji Surathkal Movie Review: The tense whodunit thriller has potential to be turned into franchise

Shivaji Surathkal is a tense whodunit thriller that has all the potential to be turned into a franchise

Published: 21st February 2020
Ramesh Aravind

Shivaji Surathkal opens with a bizarre case (No. 101), which has 11 witnesses to the murder of the home minister’s son. Ramesh Aravind plays the titular character in Akash Srivatsa’s directorial. Roshan Ravi (Vinay Gowda) is the murder victim, who is the son of politician  Rajiv Ravi (Avinash). The police send Shivaji (Ramesh Aravind) — a Sherlock Holmes-like character — to the murder scene, a resort in Ranagiri, to solve the case.

Shivaji manages to untangle most cases simply by his powers of deduction (Mystery writers Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are both credited in the film). Shivaji, as the viewers learn, is reluctant at first to go to the resort, located in Madikeri, as it has a bitter connection with his past. However, after some pushing by his higher-ups, he takes his assistant Govindu  (Raaghu Raamannakoppa) and trudges on to Ranagiri, in spite of personal issues in his life involving his wife, Janani, who fondly calls him Ji.

Director: Akash Srivatsa
Producers: Anup Gowda and Rekha K N
Cast: Ramesh Aravind, Radhika Narayan, Arohi Nayaran, Raaghu Raamannakoppa

Given just 48 hours to solve the case, Shivaji has to deal with a master key to room number 1001, a swimming pool with clues, and the guests at the resort. The movie concludes with a judgment on the professional and the personal sides of any investigator. Killing two birds with one stone, that’s how Shivaji Surathkal cracks two cases during a single investigation.

The personal side of the talented investigative officer, who is not shown as invulnerable but as one who has eccentricities and comes out stumbling at times, shows him as a human. The tale of his past life moves viewers and the actor arrests the audience with his role. Wisecracks between Aravind and his assistant lend comic relief.

Ramesh Aravind has played the role of Shivaji well, even though it goes against his regular image. He brings all his acting prowess to convincingly play the investigative officer in his 101st film. The rapport director Akash Srivatsa shares with Aravind has enabled him to bring out a never-seen-before side to the actor. As an investigative officer, Ramesh Aravind sheds his regular image, and this transformation is thanks to director Akash and writer Abhijit’s imagination, and the actor’s versatility.

Akash, who last directed Badmaash, has put in a lot of preparation for the movie and it shows in all the suspense he creates as well as the sharp dialogues and the sharper editing. The conversation-based thriller seamlessly moves between two storylines and the suspense builds up right from the beginning, with some clever twists along the way.

The cinematography, with the green backdrop of Madikeri, is intense as befits a crime story.

Shivaji Surathkal is a tense whodunit which also focuses on the life of an investigator. It has all the potential to be turned into a franchise, not unlike the famed investigator of Baker Street, Sherlock Holmes.

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