6ne Maili movie review: This Sanchari Vijay-starrer falls short of being an impressive thriller

Karthik Keramalu

July 06, 2018 18:37:32 IST

2.5/5

I watched the trailer for 6ne Maili earlier this week and I couldn’t make up my mind as to what the director was trying to say. The film released on 6 July, and is several shades better than the shoddily-edited trailer, thankfully, and, still, the fantastical element that waters the urges of a thrill-seeking viewer, like me, is missing in the narrative.

The film opens with a top-ranking cop commenting about the affairs of the naxals. In a brief monologue, he explains the states that the naxals operate in, in India; and goes on to give bullet points about how their decisions and movements have affected our country. He asks the naxals to let go of their guns and violent methods subtly via politically correct statements. However, this documentary-style approach is cut at the umbilical cord, and isn’t taken forward as the movie focuses on something else.

A still from the film.

I was reminded of Trivikram Srinivas’s Telugu action comedy Jalsa, where Pawan Kalyan plays a reformed naxal. There, the writer-director gave reasons for Pawan’s character to turn into a gun-wielding naxalite, and he showed us how he comes out of it. Here, only a minor factor comes into play. So, whatever the cop says in the beginning doesn’t work at all. In the same way, director Seeni makes a cameo appearance in the closing shot, and robs the essence of the story with an unnecessary “director’s touch”.

A troublesome gang, on the lines of the Dandupalya members, preys on young women in the Dakshina Kannada region. The movie takes its time to introduce us to the thick forests of the Western Ghats; elsewhere, it puts the camera in the wheel of the bus – a morbidly awful thing to do when there are scenic spots all around the Ghats – that’s carrying the tourists from Bangalore, and other places, to Ujire. If your knowledge of the Ghats, in Karnataka, doesn’t go beyond the beaches of Mangalore and Udupi, you’ll have a good time in the theatre memorising the names of Uppinangady, Ichilampady, and the like.

The roads, through which the characters travel, have more twists and turns than the plot of 6ne Maili. The scene involving Sanchari Vijay’s character introduction is given the status of a star introduction. Though, he doesn’t get a song-and-dance moment for that particular scene, intelligent viewers will be able to sniff out clues from the background music that accompanies his initial presence. And that’s how the hoopla around making a thriller peters out.

Last year, Tamil cinema saw the terrifically made Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru that had Karthi in the lead. The process of planning and nabbing a dangerous gang was exquisitely shot and narrated. 6ne Maili, which more or less falls in the same category, doesn’t even achieve half of what TAO did. But it rises above the bar set by the Kannada crime-drama Dandupalya – another movie that centers on ruthless criminals – as this latest release doesn’t fetishise rapes and murders. Again, the workings of the SIT formed to put an end to the menace created by this new perverted gang aren’t majorly exciting. They are ordinary in the most ordinary sense of the word.

A few months ago, Kannada cinema was blessed with the wonderful cop thriller Tagaru. Tagaru took you into the police station, into the minds of the corrupt and the belligerent cops, and into the land of the criminals’ psyches. 6ne Maili takes you to one of the most picturesque locations during the night hours and leaves you with an aching sensation that it could have been so much more, and a lot more amazing even, in the hands of a finer director.

Updated Date: Jul 06, 2018 18:37 PM