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Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Srikanth, Vishnu, Poorna, Poonam Bajwa, Pooja.
Direction: Sudha K Prasad
Music: Selvaganesh
Production: Mano Akkineni

Sudha K Prasad might have come from Mani Ratnam’s school of filmmaking, having apprenticed under him in many of his successful movies. But nothing in Drohi suggests a semblance of her dependency of Mani’s filmmaking bible – like the subtlety or the layered themes his movies have. Of course, her Mani connections are not yardsticks to measure her talent as a standalone director but the lessons she learnt there ought to have helped her in her directorial debut.
Sudha has audaciously ventured into the North Madras territory with the gut wrenching theme of contract killers who would do anything for money. The movie dabbles in a friendship that has gone awry owing to a skewered murder plan. So the ironic title is hence allegoric to the friendship the two kids were supposed to enjoy that in turn develops into animosity.

The movie opens with Srikanth being tied to a railway track and goes back in flashes when he reminisces about his life. Pooja is recently appointed as a teacher in a North Madras school. She pledges to impart education to the children, something other teachers failed to do. However, in the process she gets into a minor tussle with a rowdy and gets killed. Young Vishnu and Srikanth, who are her students, are witness to the incident. They plot a scheme to get back at their teacher’s murderer.

Drohi has kids in sixth grade plotting murder expertly, in a rather blood curdling manner. Although their upbringing could have had an effect on them - or that is what you are supposed to infer - the ease with which the murder is planned is appalling. The minutest details are planned and prepared for. “Slice his face from ear to the throat so he won’t shout,” says one with an expert’s ease.

Vishnu eventually gets caught after successfully executing the murder. Although, in police custody, he remains tight-lipped about the reasons of the murder, Srikanth spills the beans and sows the seeds of enmity between them. Out of the jail, they part ways and Vishnu goes on to become an IPS officer while Srikanth joins the local don Thyagarajan’s goons. Their tryst with destiny rattles them to both low and high points in life and when they meet, they must relive the once-forgotten, dark secrets of their life.

Sudha’s efforts in capturing the North Madras locale do successfully come across earnestly. But the fact is that it’s all too repulsive to stomach and hence the lack of a touching story, despite the existence of a friendship thread is felt. Vishnu scores with his body language and he pulls it off with ease in the usual song-and-dance-routine as well.

The once chubby-and-mama’s-boy Srikanth is completely stripped off his boyish charm. He is notable, however, in his character as good-Brahmin-boy-gone-bad.

Of the women, Pooja appears for a flicker of a second and is martyred in the beginning of the movie. More of a cameo but she does tug at the heart. Poorna as the Royapuram girl gets full marks while Poonam Bajwa gets less screen space and hence just about ok.

Nefarious goons, wretched friendship, sodomy, murder and lawlessness are at the heart of Drohi. A tight rope walk for Sudha since the subject is a double-edged sword. While she has effectively done the portrayal of two lives amidst wretchedness, she has failed to balance it out with a more purposeful screenplay.

Verdict – Too much to stomach!

Tags : Drohi, Srikanth, Vishnu, Poorna, Poonam Bajwa, Pooja
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