Cold Case movie review: Reasonably suspenseful despite self-conscious handling of police work


A cold case is defined as a crime that remains unresolved for a length of time and for which investigations have been put on hold indefinitely due to insufficient evidence, or a crime discovered much after it was committed. The latter circumstance is the starting point of director Tanu Balak’s Cold Case

This new Malayalam film stars Prithviraj Sukumaran as ACP M Sathyajith in whose jurisdiction a human skull is fished out of a water body by an unsuspecting local. The remains have degraded over time and the police’s first challenge is to identify the dead person.

In another part of Thiruvananthapuram, the journalist Medha (Aditi Balan) shifts into a rented accommodation with her daughter and domestic help. Medha is divorcing her husband and is bracing herself for a custody battle over their child. She works with a TV channel on a programme dealing with paranormal occurrences. When she is compelled to probe the steady stream of scares in her own house, her inquiries throw up a link between Sathyajith’s case and the spooky presence in her home.

Cold Case is about the parallel investigations conducted by the two leads. 

One of the nicer aspects of this film is that the director is clearly not intimidated by his superstar leading man and that Prithviraj himself has not used his clout to force his character into a position where he overpowers the narrative. When he is on screen in Cold Case, he is the centre of the proceedings but his arresting screen presence is not drummed up with low-angle shots and over-underlined music that are an inextricable part of old-style men-centric out-and-out commercial Malayalam cinema. 


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