The first scene of any movie is important as it sets the tone of the film. The best example that I could think of is Indian (Tamil), when an old man murders the Corporation commissioner, it grabs your attention and sucks you into the narrative. The first scene in Bogan made me laugh out loud, but I gave the benefit of the doubt to the director. I expected him to bring a Sherlockian Eurus twist, but he chose to make a Chinna Vaathiyar twist. And there ended the story. (If you have seen Chinna Vaathiyar, you will know what I am talking about).
Bogan belongs to Arvind Swamy, and he has cashed in on his opportunity. His body language is brilliant, especially whenever he has to mimic Jayam Ravi’s. On the other hand, Jayam Ravi couldn’t match his partner’s prowess. There are some excellent scene compositions – the interrogation scene between Jayam Ravi and Arvind Swamy or the dinner scene are well conceptualised and executed. But these scenes are few and far.
Lakshman, the director, has tried to cash in on the charm of Arvind Swamy but it could have been better. For example, the character eloquently utters a Thirukkural but gets into a colloquial slang later. He is considered to be a genius by his peers, but the director shows him to make miscalculated decisions. This randomness of the character affects narrative drastically, and that has pushed him to drop into logical pitfalls.
The director was smart enough to use CCTV footages as a prime source of evidence but seems to have forgotten that there will be CCTV footages when murders happen in the later stages. Nobody appears to be bothered about a Commissioner’s death and above all, I don’t know how Arvind Swamy can do a Chinna Vaathiyar (again, refer to Chinna Vathiyar) in seconds. When the hero points out specific instances to everyone to establish his identity, he tries to convince the heroine with emotion – even their first meeting could have been a memorable event to establish his identity. And there are much more to point out, and this article wouldn’t be enough.
The problem with Lakshman is he uses smart logic whenever he wants to and abandons it whenever it affects his narrative. He has fallen into his scheme of things, and it has forced him to finish the movie haphazardly. The premise of the film has given Lakshman a lot of stuff to play with, but he chooses to go with stereotypical scenes like he did with his Romeo and Juliet. The reason why I haven’t talked much about other supporting characters is that they didn’t matter much in this cat and mouse game between the two leads. In fact, the promising character of Akshara Gowda falls flat. Imman’s songs are forgettable, but he has redeemed himself with his background score.
Although his idea of crafting a thriller with an Indian myth is laudable, Lakshman fails in execution. The movie rides on the charm of Arvind Swamy, and he does save it with his act. The question is whether it is enough?
A 2/5 for Bogan – watch it if you like Arvind Swamy in a negative role.