16 Every Detail Counts
'16', described as a neo-noir mystery crime thriller, is the dubbed version of the super-hit Tamil movie 'Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru'. Here is our review of the slick thriller.
The film begins with the suspicious attack/murder of two lovers by an unseen character. Fast enough, on the same night, the scene shifts to an accident that three spoilt brats are trying hard to cover up.
Next day morning, Inspector Deepak (Rahman) has to do preliminary inquiry of these crimes. One clue after another teases his brain. His assistant Gautham (played by Prakash Vijayaraghavan) complements his efforts, getting a pat on the back for his intuitive insights.
Much as he tries, Deepak fails to connect the dots. Somewhere, a newspaper man's clever ploy is thrown in. There is a missing link and it could be a terrifying psycho who is behind the crime. Or, may be Deepak is totally wrong in his guesses!
What really transpired that night? Who is on the run? Can Deepak catch the culprit? Will Gautham's passionate attempts pay off? Answers to these questions are found towards a gripping, thoughtful climax.
'Will interest hold if the climax is revealed in the beginning itself?' Deepak asks an aspiring cop, who, in reply, says that it depends on how the story is told. 21-year-old director Karthick Naren knows that the crux lies in story-telling. '16' unfolds like a whodunit that doesn't cause needless tension for the audience.
Since it is a mystery thriller, it’s best to watch and know for yourself what the pre-climax and climax portions hold. Suffice it to say that it's not just about thrills, but also about the same Deepak who has may be a different man five years later.
Most crime subjects are centered on the lead investigator - his knack and sharpness. However, the director in this case introduces a male lead whose memory is admittedly bad, who is keen on getting advice from his alert assistant, whose IQ and intuition may not be in co-ordination...
On the one hand are characters who chip in with their side of the story or the story as they know it, and on the other hand, are the Deepak-Gautham duo who are not sure whether they are getting it right. There are long sequences helped by crisp editing. For example, the crime scene where the Inspector gives various instructions to his fellow constables, inquires the neighbour, talks with the witness, etc.
The dialogues are also brief and interesting in many places. The way the police professionals talk with each other has been captured well. The conversations between Deepak and Gautham are sharp and witty at times.
At 108 minutes, the film doesn't have the run-of-the-mill elements.
Rahman is quite right on the money; his looks, body language, the intimidating attitude - they are all fine. But for him, who carries certain familiarity, all the others are unknown faces for Telugu audience.
Jakes Bejoy’s background score enhances the thrill and mystery element throughout the film. Sujith Sarang’s cinematography has used lights and angles that gives the feel of watching a crime investigation flick.
A whodunit that stays true to the genre. Intriguing and even philosophical. The emotional quotient of the climax is the film's biggest high point.