Watchman movie review: GV Prakash's thriller is dampened by loose screenplay, slow pace

The saving grace of Watchman is it short runtime because the film is absorbing only in parts.

Sreedhar Pillai April 13, 2019 16:15:34 IST

2.5/5

A few years back, music director GV Prakash and director Vijay were a hit combination that churned out chartbusters. The combo is back but now sings a different tune. After years, GV the actor has teamed up with Vijay the director in their thriller Watchman, which has no songs.

Watchman movie review GV Prakashs thriller is dampened by loose screenplay slow pace

Poster for Watchman.

It is basically what the industry calls a “dog based film” where the heroics are pulled by a 'wonder dog', who is also the hero’s best friend. Films on dog have been a favourite formula for Bollywood and Kollywood actors and directors when looking for a hit. There is a lot of curiosity about such films, predominantly for family audiences who just want to be entertained by the canines.

The plot of Watchman is simple and straightforward. No unwanted romance or comedy tracks have been thrust into the narration. The entire action takes place in one night as the hero breaks into a bungalow to steal money to pay off a loan shark and encounters a terrorist gang. The owner of the bungalow is a former police officer whose 'wonder dog' helps him tackle the dreaded terrorists in pitch darkness.

Technically, the film is slick with great camera work by Nirav Shah, especially the scenes filmed in complete darkness. One major plus is that although there are no songs or romantic scenes in the film, GV Prakash’s background score is in sync with the story. In fact, he adds to the suspense and tension when there is total silence in certain portions.

GV Prakash and Suman, who plays the bungalow owner, do a neat job. But it is Bruno the dog that steals the show. The golden retriever's introduction in which it confronts the burglar is the pivot around which the film revolves.

On paper, the story written by Vijay looks interesting but the screenplay and slow pace is a dampener. The film is only 95 minutes long and should have moved like a bullet, but some of the night scenes in the film seem repetitive. The story should have been a little more engaging as there are a lot of scenes that are left unexplained. The terrorists who are said to be armed and dangerous are outwitted by a dog in Home Alone style. The saving grace of Watchman then, is the runtime because the film is absorbing only in parts.

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