'Cold Case' movie review: A major disappointment

'Cold Case' movie review: Prithviraj-starrer is a major disappointment

'Cold Case' fails to make an impact due to the lousy execution

A still from 'Cold Case'. Credit: Amazon Prime Video

Cast: Prithviraj, Aditi Balan and Suchitra Pillai

Director: Tanu Balak

Rating: 1.5/5

Platform: Amazon Prime Video

Actor Prithviraj's latest release Cold Case, which was touted to be a 'hybrid film', had the potential to be a gamechanger for Malayalam cinema but it ends up being nothing more than a synonym for mediocrity. The flick revolves around a cop, played by the Ezra hero, who is roped in to investigate a sensitive homicide case.

Lacklustre execution

The basic plot has pretty much everything -- right from a few attempted twists to investigation scenes -- that one would expect from a thriller. The premise, however, fails to make an impact due to the half-baked screenplay.

Also Read | Took up 'Cold Case' to connect with my Kerala roots, says Suchitra Pillai

Weak first hour

The narrative features two distinct but related tracks -- the police investigation and the horror elements. While the makers do their best to ensure that the two blend, the net result is anything but appealing. Cold Case opens with a couple of predictable and mundane exorcism scenes that leave virtually no impact whatsoever. The first hour tries to build the universe of the film, introducing the viewers to the main characters. It, however, is marred by clichés and predictable twists. The sequence involving Suchitra Pillai's interaction with the  'presence' is a case in point.

Lame climax

A film with thriller elements can hit the right notes only if it features an effective climax. Drishyam, for example, worked mainly because of the big reveal towards the end. It was quite simple but no one really saw it coming. It also added depth to the character of George Kutty, making it easier for the audience to root for him. This is exactly where Cold Case falters. While the second hour is a marked improvement over the first one. The twist towards the end lacks shock value.

No emotional connect

Broadly speaking, a horror-thriller needs to have a certain degree of depth to click with the audience. The Priest, for example, made for an okayish watch despite its flaws as the track involving Manju Warrier, who played the role of a caring and protective sister, proved to be its emotional fulcrum. Cold Case fails to meet even these mediocre standards and offers a shallow experience.

Talent wasted

Prithviraj tries to salvage the film with his sincere performance. The problem, however, is that the role does not do justice to his abilities as it is quite generic and one-dimensional. ACP Sathyajith has virtually no back story, which makes him come across as a mere caricature. While an argument can be made that Cold Case is not a 'star vehicle', it does not really hold good. The Kannada movie Nanna Prakara, the story of a policeman who investigates a case that becomes a bit personal, is an example of how characters can be given a bit of a back story even in the thriller space.

Just like Prithvi, Aditi Balan -- who rose to fame with the Tamil movie Aruvi -- is burdened with a shallow character. The writers attempt to highlight the character's personal life but it counts for nothing as the subplots have not been explored properly.

Pillai is underutilised.

Final thoughts

That said, Cold Case has a few merits. The sound design in a few sequences is quite chilling. The editing is up to the mark as it does not really drag too much. The other technical aspects have been handled well

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