An honest attempt that could have been made better

Debutant director Franklin Jacob takes some time to take the audience into his world, but when he does it, Writer really takes off. The film is not about a perfect cop who takes on injustice right from the word go, but it is about a flawed human being who also gets trapped in this vicious system.

This is one of the films that talks about the need for a union for policemen and how the protagonist fights for it. Initially, the film gives us an overview about the police department and the politics associated with every case. In the very first scene, Thangaraj (Samuthirakani), as a writer, tries to close a petty case in an unfair way, with an intention to reduce the crime rate at his station. On the other side, he also petitions to form a union for policemen in the court. As a person who has his own moral balance, he gets trapped in an illegal custody case that rips him off with guilt.

A PhD student, Devakumar (Hari Krishnan), pursuing sociology in Madras University gets caught in the whiff of things when he seeks information for his research. With a casteist Deputy Commissioner pulling the strings to defend himself in an old case, Devakumar gets arrested. With the intervention of Thangaraj, things go for a toss and what really happens to Devakumar and the policemen involved forms the climax.

Writer has its intentions in the right place, but it also deviates in parts, not allowing us to go through an immersive experience. The film talks about several issues in the police department, yet it touches these points only superficially without having an in-depth look on one particular issue.

For instance, we get a flashback involving Ineya, which acts as a major drawback to the narrative. However, the scene in which her character, Saranya, a police trainee, rides the horse to make a strong statement against casteism and hierarchy is laudable. Jacob’s writing is powerful in parts. However, the film had a lot of scope to be better yet it falls flat in some places. The writing in the second half could have been better.

Samuthirakani’s performance is the major strength of the film. The scene in which he shows remorse is brilliant and definitely moving. Antony, who plays Raja, an ex-convict who works at the station serving the needs of the policemen, has done a wonderful job. His one-liners work to a large extent and evoke laughter. Maheswari, who plays Samuthirakani’s wife in the film, has done a neat job. Not to forget, Hari Krishnan’s performance as an innocent student who gets caught in the mess is something to watch out for. He has done exceptionally well.

Portrayal of atrocities by the police in films is not new to us, yet this film gives us a different perspective by letting us encounter both good and evil policemen in the department. Composer Govind Vasantha deserves a special mention as his music helps to elevate the script. The other technical aspects could have been better, especially while handling a gritty narrative like this.

Writer definitely has honest intentions and is watchable for the subject it has dealt with.

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