Gone were the days when Tamil cinema’s reliability on hero was paramount, 'Dora' is one good example of how a talented heroine can use her star power to weigh the movie to its end. After playing a sensitive mother in Maya, in 'Dora' she plays a charming next door girl with a bold attitude. The thing about haunted movies is the standard checklist it boasts off, a spooky mansion, sinister characters and all that. 'Dora' breaks free from the usual stereotyped haunted movies, and is more of a revenge drama with limited spooky moments.
Nayanthara’s dubbing is probably the first thing that comes to your mind, after listening an alien voice all along, the actress has started using her own voice since 'Naanum Rowdy Thaan', it does takes time to get a grasp, but the film shows how much vibe it adds to her character. Nayan and Thambi Ramiah are the new generation dad-daughter duo, teasing each other at times but their affection intact. Thambi Ramiah is known to have crossed his comical portrayal more than once and 'Dora' is no different. His humorous body language and dialogue delivery as a caring, affectionate dad starts well in the scenes when they venture into the call taxi business but after a point it becomes rather annoying, especially when the film turns the heat on the revenge.
The only traditional horror element 'Dora' follows is the emotional flashback as is the case in any revenge movie, a tragic incident leads a dog’s spirit into a possessed car which is then bought by Nayan, not far away is Harish Uthaman a rigid cop investigating a local murder. How the revenge drama unfolds with both these stories integrating is 'Dora' in a nutshell. The film is split into two storylines, on one hand it rides on a father-daughter relationship, their antics and desperation in running an antique call taxi service, on the other hand is a tough cop who investigates the recent murders and looting around the locality. Doss Ramasamy (director) takes time to bring these two stories together with an apt finale.
Looking at the positives, without a doubt its Nayanthara's show all the way. Her flamboyant style and presence has manifold over the years, and to show her star power there is also this mass scene when she slits a guy and in the process his phone gets thrown away, Nayan just pushes him away catching the phone midair. Her conversations with Thambi Ramiah is fun at times and shows the lighter side of the movie. Harish has his role cutout and as usual exhibits the arrogance well onscreen. The screenplay despite having quite a few bumps in both the halves keeps the viewers on the edge for the predominant part. The BGM is spot on and is amplified with radiant cinematography, the film bears a lazy sepia look and that definitely matches the tone of the story. The silent hero of the movie is definitely the CAR – a Austin Cambridge car which gets possessed is treated with respect and enough CGI to give a heroic look.
The film again falls into the category of "Could have been better" flicks letdown by flimsy sequences which has no place in this storyline. To quote, a comical Thambi Ramiah dancing in front of the ghostly car just when they find the horror behind it is very irrelevant. Scenes like these let down the essence of the movie. A police station scene involving Harish and Nayan has come out rather well, completely inspired by 'Anniyan' movie without a doubt. Dora fails in trying to bring in the spooky horror moments rather too dramatically, some of the scenes looked to be shot in haste and appears rather unnecessary, and clipping them would definitely make sense. The way the possessed car reaches Nayan, which forms the crux of the story could have been portrayed in a more convincing manner. The A certification might be due to its gory take on abuse in the flashback and some violence''
Verdict : Overall Dora is a decent spirit revenge thriller, gets it right in parts.