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Imaikkaa Nodigal movie review: Anurag Kashyap’s psychopath powers Nayanthara’s cop drama
Imaikkaa Nodigal movie review: Nayanthara has succeeded yet again by picking a character that we have never seen her portray. Anjali is not perfect at what she does but her agenda is to catch the killer, played by Anurag Kashyap.

  Imaikkaa Nodigal
Cast: Nayanthara, Anurag Kashyap, Atharvaa, Raashi Khanna
Director: Ajay Gnanamuthu
Screenwriter: Pattukkottai Prabakar
Rating: 3.5

Heroes are only as great as their villains. Good films understand this, great films celebrate this fact. In Anurag Kashyap, Imaikkaa Nodigal has a phenomenal bad guy, which makes its hero, Nayanthara, so much more effective.

A lot like the opera he is so fond of in Imaikkaa Nodigal, the arc of Anurag’s Rudra rises to a crescendo and ends on such a spectacular note that the film’s flaws are washed away in its wake. Add to it Nayanthara’s performance, film’s efficient background score and intelligent camera work and Imaikkaa Nodigal makes for a great watch.

With his performance, Anurag reminds audience of Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson and Edmund Kemper. Rudra is not your average garden variety baddie; he is obsessed with death and brings to mind these psychopathic serial killers. The cat-and-mouse game between him and Nayanthara’s cop Anjali Vikramadityan begins right from the word go as is their crackling connection. They understand each other at a visceral level and can second guess all moves.

Anurag makes Rudra larger-than-life – he is the boogeyman that kids would fear and adults will be intrigued by. The villain’s reason in the film forms the crux of the story, as it should. After all, serial murderers with a killer conviction make for a great movie.

He is ably backed by a screenplay that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Screenwriter Pattukkottai Prabakar has managed a fabulous job by introducing each element at the right time. This film is not a thriller devoid of romance or the song and dance routine. In fact, there is a cliched Tasmac song in the film, but does it distract? Not really. It instead endows a certain character with more depth.

Music by Hip Hop Tamizha, especially the background score, is a big surprise considering the kind of work they have done in the past. In certain places, there is a great transition, but at others, the music turns out to be jarring. For instance, the transition from hundreds of calls being tracked and tapped to a beautiful piece of opera music that plays in the background is great. But the score for Atharva’s introduction shot overpowers the scene.

Vijay Sethupathi’s cameo is an effective addition and makes use of the buzz that comes from him sharing screen space with Nayanthara after Naanum Rowdy Thaan. Can any other actor have played this part? May be, but when Vijay as Vikramadityan asks Anjali, “Are you okay, baby?” you know he is out to nail it.

The fact that an amateur solves a case even before a CBI officer did in Imaikkaa Nodigal might initially be a sore point, but as the characters in the film evolve and the story moves forth, this detail becomes a minor grievance.
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