Amala Paul, Riythvika, Munishkanth, Thrigun, Harish Uthaman, Athulya Ravi, Vinod Sagar
What’s The Story
Bhadra Thangavel (Amala Paul) is an expert pathologist who is well-known for solving the most complicated cases. She helps the assistant police commissioner Vishal (Harish Uthaman) in solving a murder case of a surgeon. The duo's investigation leads them to a prisoner named Vetri (Thrigun), who had vowed to kill the surgeon. Despite Bhadra and Vishal's precautions and being in custody, Vetri manages to execute a second murder as well. What happens next forms the crux of Cadaver. Will Bhadra be able to solve the case? Will there be newer twists on the way for Bhadra? Well, you’ll have to watch the film to find out.
Amala Paul’s Performance Is Praiseworthy
Amala Paul is the soul performer of ‘Cadaver’. Right from the very first, she carries the burden of the story on her shoulders and she delivers. The nuances she brings into the character of a forensic pathologist are brilliant. While at the start you’re convinced that she is a stone-cold-hearted doctor who tries to keep herself dissociated from the patient and not get emotionally invested. However, by the time the climax unfurls, that perception totally changes, and Paul has managed to bring that transition very smoothly.
Aravind Singh’s cinematography is the other major highlight of ‘Cadaver’. Not only have the outdoor locales been explored brilliantly but even the indoor scenes of a morgue have been shot to perfection. Usually, cinematographers end up making the scenes very dark in a thriller, however, Singh has managed to keep the perspective of the story at the forefront and managed to bring out the detailing in the scene perfectly. To add to that the beautiful locales have been well shot with great usage of drones and long-shot cameras. There is one specific scene of a long winding road with an abyss on one side taken from the top, which looks marvellous on the screen.
Cliched Backstory And Stale Direction
Anoop Panicker’s writing and direction are the sole soft spot of ‘Cadaver’. In a murder mystery, you’re expecting to have a climax where things are revealed that you’re not expecting at all. Sadly, as there are no other major stars in ‘Cadaver’ from the very start you’re expecting that Amala Paul’s character has more to it than what meets the eye, and when the climax unfolds, your guesses are bang on the money, and thereby let down by the story. While the plotline was fantastic, the predictability of the story makes it an old wine served in a new bottle.
As far as the direction goes, Panicker has used some really old tricks of the trade that any average moviegoer in today’s times would have seen in numerous other films. Therefore, that wow factor has also lost its charm. In the climax when the backstory is revealed, you’re left scratching your head thinking was this all that this story is based around?! It is too cliched.
Panicker missed the trick which was unique to this film – the angle of the forensic pathologist. A lot more intricacies should have been delved into while examining the bodies or while investigating the murder mystery. He should have shown more of how Paul’s character solves the mystery using her forensic knowledge and her years of experience in the morgue.
Also, Panicker put in some unnecessary action sequences which were utterly not needed. A scene where Paul along with a couple of police officers are waiting at the church graveyard in the middle of the night just to pick up a fight with some goons. Too forced! Could have easily been avoided.
Another thing shrouded in mystery was why was Vetri (Thrigun) behind bars. It wasn’t shown too much as to what he did in order to be jailed for over four years. That angle should have been clarified in a much simpler way for the audiences to get more interested in the backstory.
Then again, who killed the father of the church? No explanations were given, yet it was understood that probably the main villain must have gotten him killed. Panicker left a lot of such open plots making the audience even more disinterested.
Amala Paul had a winner at hand with a killer plot for a great murder mystery. However, the predictable writing and musty direction just sucked the fun out of the thriller. Just Paul’s performance was the saving grace of this film. If you’re into murder mysteries then, at best, this is a One Time Watch, others Avoid. I am going with 1.5 stars.