Language: Tamil

Cast: Atharvaa Murali, Hansika Motwani, Mime Gopi

Director: Sam Anton

Spoilers ahead…

Is there another film industry as obsessed with inserting newspaper clippings into films as Kollywood? Why do filmmakers feel the need to substantiate certain scenes with what’s going around in the world? Is it a) to say that what’s happening on screen is merely a reflection of what’s happening in society (like we didn’t know that already) or b) they lack confidence in their written material and need to cite an external source to make the story seem plausible? Either way, it’s something that instantly removes us from the fictional world of the movie. In Sam Anton’s 100 (the police helpline) the director brings up the Nungambakkam Railway Station case, Nirbhaya, Dhashwanth, Pollachi and more to make us relate to the story of yet-another vigilante policeman played by a barely effective Atharvaa. Even his name, Sathya, is option 1 in the baby-name book for future Tamil film cops.

Yet everything in the film is explained like it’s the first film ever to do so. He becomes a sub-inspector wanting to kick some ass but instead gets a job answering calls at the police control room. Most of them are prank calls like schools kids who call in a bomb threat a day before the exam (like Vijay in Kushi?). But its those rare real phone calls that make all the difference to Sathya’s life. A girl that was declared dead calls up the police control room one day to say she was kidnapped not killed. He traces the call and goes over-and-above his line of duty to uncover what is most likely the most complicated web of crime which includes delivery boys, drugs, Facebook accounts, kidnappings, rich businessmen, sex trade, middle class girls and…Hansika.

Hansika? She’s in this movie for exactly three scenes and one song and nothing more. I’m guessing it will take a genius scientist an entire lifetime to figure out what she’s actually doing in this movie. But what got me just as curious is the character played by Radha Ravi. He plays Pistol Prabhakaran, a third generation policeman who has never gotten the chance to actually use his pistol (he’s also unmarried so I guess there’s room for some deeper reading?). And when he speaks of his desire to put his gun to use a week or so before his retirement, it doesn’t really take a genius to guess how the film will end. Not only does the remaining scenes become unexciting but it also kills any interest it managed to create until then. The twists are far too many and too implausible to keep us connected. 100 doesn’t even try after a point making it a call you just want to miss.

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