Banner: Pyramid Saimira Production
Cast: Suresh Gopi, Bala, Honey, Lakshana, Rhajan P Dev, Murali, Sona Nair, Rizabava, Bheeman Raghu, Maniyan Pillai
Raju, Krishnakumar, Biju Pappan
Direction: Shaji Kailash
‘The Sound of Boot’ is a thriller aspirant that strives hard to leave a chill down your spine – in vain. It’s a violent, dismal and often outlandish exercise that promptly squishes your intellect under its stomp.
There’s a killer on the loose, and the targets none less than senior officers of the police force who have contentedly withdrawn to their safe havens, post-retirement. The apparent suspects are many and the supportive traces few. The Superintendent of Police, Siddharth Mahadevan (Suresh Gopi), travels back and forth in time to diligently solve the puzzle, and unleashes a surge of deeply buried secrets that retell an appalling tale of their own.
Rajesh Jayaraman, in an earnest endeavor to craft a distinctive setting liberally draws his material from an era of insurgency, as an Indira Gandhi portrait inertly hang on the wall. Writ large in blood and tears his chronicle nevertheless doesn’t move beyond the confines of a routine revenge saga that’s prosaic to the core. It’s one of those unbearably customary police procedurals, and barely twenty minutes into the film I abruptly realize with a slight shudder as to what the rest of it is going to be all about. There are U-turns ad red herrings in abundance as ‘The Sound of Boot’ desperately tries to rise above its failings and live up to its hype. Obviousness is what shreds the film apart; there is just no escape from the mundane sequencing of incidents that tag on, one after the other, without fail. It doesn’t really require a Perry Mason to string the beads together here; a tiny bit of basic common sense and a wee bit of attention should help you get around. And regrettably it doesn’t call for much of a pondering either.
A fierce desire to be daringly different runs through the entire length of the film. Structurally it robustly deviates from tradition, and doesn’t hesitate to fluctuate across set patterns. There is an appealing technique that juggles with at least a couple of departures from the customary design, the most predominant one being the slightly suggestive groundwork of affairs. This invariably leads to plenty of speculation that in turn does help preserve an interest, albeit for a very short time. The leads in dual directions initially seem stimulating, before running out of steam and turning into a structural mess. There are quite a few hurried flashbacks and forwards that jerk up the narrative every now and then and further futilely complicate the account. There is little effort to build a suspense or tension though; a meager parody of its predecessors, it ultimately fails to strike a chord, for all its efforts.
Sans the commotion and the hubbub, Suresh Gopi appears an unruffled and composed self of his otherwise agitated persona that has often been over exploited in his Super cop movies. There’s not much that is demanded of him here, and there is little that he can do about this misfire. He is least fussy and goes about his job with a passivity that’s quite seductive. Murali, on the other hand, has opportunities aplenty that throw challenges to the seasoned actor within, and breezes by with a stupefying performance.
Perhaps there are few directors in Malayalam today, whose flicks have acquired the technical finesse that a Shaji Kailas film could boast of, and ‘The Sound of Boot’ is no exception. The picturesque Munnar turfs might seem an uncanny locale for the brutality on show, but courtesy cinematographer Rajaratnam, the look is swish and simply laden with fine technique. One could easily be awed by a slickness that’s characteristic of the extreme angle shots in this swank film. The principal irony of it all is that the most frivolous of events hence assume a marvelous tinge. And yet when it’s a film with lots of style minus any soul or substance, the effects are bound to be detrimental.
Though technically slick, ‘The Sound of Boot’ is noticeably a fiasco, in that it’s a bizarrely flat and laboriously mechanical mystery. It is awkward and convoluted and undoubtedly tiresome, almost on every level. And almost everything in it stays put, at a nil be it chance, choice or charm.