Tamil Reviews

100 Review: A Decent Cop Thriller & Also The Second Film This Weekend To Feature Radha Ravi As The Deliverer Of Justice

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Director: Sam Anton

Cast: Atharvaa, Hansika Motwani, Cheenu Mohan, Harija, Vijay, Mime Gopi, Radha Ravi

The full cast list for the Sam Anton-directed 100 has Hansika Motwani down as the female lead. Perhaps there were some scheduling issues and call sheet conflicts? Because Hansika appears for all of 2.5 scenes and one mildly creepy song in which the hero Atharvaa follows her wherever she goes. I thought Nikki Galrani’s role in Kee was the most pointless female character written in Tamil cinema of recent times, but I stand corrected. It is Hansika Motwani’s Nisha in 100.

However, 100 is a fairly strong police-action-thriller film that covers a spate of recent incidents involving sexual assault and violence against women (the fourth film in recent times to talk about crimes against women, and refer to Pollachi, after Kanchana 3, Devarattam, and Ayogya). 

*****

100 is written and directed by Sam Anton, and produced by Kaviya Mahesh and Auraa Films. It stars Atharvaa, Hansika Motwani, Cheenu Mohan, Radha Ravi, YouTube Stars Harija and Vijay, Mime Gopi and others. The film was shot by Krishnan Vasant, edited by Ruben, and has music composed by Sam CS.

*****

Satya (Atharva) is hoping to join the Police force and be like his friend Anwar (Mahesh), a police officer. But before that, let’s just beat up the kid in college – Vicky (Raaj Ayyappa) who dared to make fun of Anwar’s sister Ayesha (Harija). And then bump into Nisha (Hansika Motwani) and fall in love with her immediately because that’s pretty much what every generation of Tamil heroes have done. And let’s have Nisha be the sister of Vicky who we’ve just beaten up, because that’s funny, right? And then let’s donate blood to Nisha without knowing Nisha wants blood to save her brother Vicky who we just beat up and never mind that his injuries consist mainly of one gash on the forehead and some little bruises here and there that are not consistent with requiring blood transfusion. All this is important because how else do we justify casting Hansika in the film?

After this completely flabby, superfluous bit of build up, 100 settles down to a proper cop drama.

Meanwhile, a young school girl Sandhya seemingly has two lovers, one from her own class and caste circles, and one who is obviously not in her league at all. And this leads to a couple of very uncomfortable confrontations at the end of which the young girl Sandhya goes missing. A few days later, the police announce they have nabbed the prime suspect – the supposed lover. He confesses to the crime, is remanded to juvenile prison and the police successfully close the case. Perhaps a slight callback to the murder of Swathi at the Nungambakkam railway station? I thought so.

Sathya gets his police posting: allowing him to perform an introductory song in which he can shoot up criminals at will with his pistol, but comment on the Sterlite shootings in Thoothukudi and say no police officer will do that. Um, what?

Sathya is assigned to the Police Control Room division in which he has to monitor the emergency numbers and field calls from people, much to his consternation. He would rather punch bad guys and solve crime. But a mentor Pistol Perumal (Radha Ravi) convinces him to stay on and he does. A botched first call about a kidnapping brings him disgrace, but Sathya finds the inner police resolve and perseveres. He correctly identifies how the kidnappers are moving around the city ahead of the rest of the police team and arrives at the kidnapper’s lair, beats them and throws them around and successfully restores the child to the grateful family.

A subplot involving Anwar possibly abetting crime, or at least turning a blind eye to it, and another involving Vicky and Ayesha in love and Anwar’s reaction to it, and a drug peddling, smuggling ring led by Das (Mime Gopi) and David (Cheenu Mohan) all build up the drama. Cheenu Mohan’s second outing as someone involved in the drug business – after Kolamaavu Kokila, what an actor we lost. Some of these threads begin to tie up together.

Now enthusiastic about his police control room job, and with his colleague M Jackson (Yogi Babu who manages to prick enough ego bubbles throughout the film) and Pistol Perumal, he moves on to the next call. A young girl reports she’s been kidnapped, and Atharvaa manages to figure out who and where, and how. He successfully retrieves the girl – Sandhya who was presumed dead, but not before severely cracking skulls and breaking rib cages of the evil kidnappers in a posh nightclub of a city decked out with UV lights and fluorescent neon colours. He entrusts the kidnappers and Sandhya to the care of Anwar, but finds the next morning that Anwar has failed to return the girl to her parents. Anwar also evades questions and Sathya begins to suspect the worse.

With the aid of Pistol Perumal, M Jackson and two others in the control room, Sathya launches his own investigation of the Sandhya case, figures out the wheels within wheels and the double crosses and triple crosses and we roll to the final reveal, climax and fight scene.

*****

Cheenu Mohan died in December 2018. Which means that the core part of the film – the main plot – must have been shot and ready by that time. However, the film release was much delayed, and finally came out this week. What explains this delay? And is this why Hansika’s role seemed like a hastily tacked on bit? She comes before the main plot begins, and for one final three-second scene at the end. Like tacky mismatched bookends on a shelf of pretty decent books. Such an injustice, but then her lipsyncing of dialogues and her expressions are quite – shall we say, insufficient. So perhaps all for the good.

But the delay perhaps has also allowed Sam Anton to bring in all the Pollachi and Nirbhaya references possible.

As with Ayogya, the most grating, completely incredible thing in 100 is that Radha Ravi is brought on to deliver the final “verdict” in a sexual violence, assault, harassment case. There, as a judge. Here as a gun wielding policeman. If this is some large Tamil cinema conspiracy to rehabilitate a man who’s been consistently accused of both sexual harassment and covering up the crimes of others, no amount of “message” films about crimes against women will help.

*****

The 100 review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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