After grabbing the limelight with his super successful and much acclaimed short films Lakshmi and Maa, director Sarjun KM has made his feature debut with Echcharikkai: Idhu Manidhargal Nadamaadum Idam.
Echcharikkai has Sathyaraj, Varalaxmi, Kishore, and Vivek Rajagopal playing lead characters with Yogi Babu and others forming the rest of the cast. It is produced by Timeline Cinemas, has music by Sundaramurthy KS, editing by Karthik Jogesh, and cinematography by Sudarshan Srinivasan.
The daughter (Varalaxmi) of an affluent businessman is kidnapped by two con-men (Kishore and Vivek). When they demand a huge sum of money in return, the businessman approaches Nataraj (Sathyaraj), a retired IPS officer for help. The story then follows the cat and mouse game played between the cops and cons with a number of twists and turns.
Diving right into the direction aspect, we are able to comprehend that the writers have tried to weave in many twists in the story and keep the audience hooked. There are many points in the screenplay that could have been dealt better with an added thrill. The twists seem to be strong on paper, but they fall flat on the screen.
The characters are established quickly, and their motives are clear but we aren't quite thrilled by the happenings. The question of what's next doesn't pop up very often as the twists are predictable at most places.
However, the way these twists and mind games are written is commendable. The important segments in the film such as the intermission block and the pre-climactic portions are not powerful enough for us to get enthralled. The performances delivered by Sathyaraj, Kishore and Vivek Rajagopal act as the cornerstone for this film.
They carry themselves convincingly and prove to be the guiding factor for the viewers to stay put. It is a good debut for Vivek and he essays his role with conviction. Kishore proves his mettle at various points in the film and Sathyaraj's experience comes in handy. With very less screen-space, Yogi Babu's scope is restricted.
The emotional sequences between Sathyaraj and his daughter might not sentimentally drain a viewer, but it definitely adds some value to the screen. A romantic angle is brought in, but one might dismiss it as it lacks depth even though it has a part to play in the story. The film could have been tighter if the post-interval song was avoided.
Apart from this, an appreciable factor in this film is the way it talks about human emotions and needs. It is subtle and not very exposed, but the changes in humans according to the situation they're in, seems quite evident. Its effect on the audience could have been stronger, had it been efficiently intertwined into sturdy sequences.
In a lackluster screenplay, we usually expect the music to take center-stage, but Sundaramurthy's background score doesn't push the boundaries. Rather, it comes off as functional. The cinematography is praiseworthy, and the cuts are passable. Overall, Echcharikkai is a watchable abduction thriller that lacks the thrill in demand.