'Japan', originally produced by Dream Warrior Pictures and presented in Telugu by Annapurna Studios, hit the cinemas today (November 10).
Japan (Karthi), a consummate thief, carries out a spectacular heist of Rs 200 Cr by stealing a jewellery shop. Since the wealth belongs to a powerful politician, all hell breaks loose. When the police department tries to nab him, Japan has a series of plans up his sleeve to outsmart the system. In the process, he treats the audience to idiosyncracies and quirks that reduce the film to a farce.
Karthi is literally the only watchable actor in the film. His deliberately cartoonish dialogue delivery draws a chuckle or two. Anu Emmanuel, who plays a cine actress the male protagonist is in love with, is limited to a few scenes. Even Sunil, who was very good in 'Jailer', is wearisome here. Vijay Milton (as a cop), KS Ravikumar and others barely make a mark. They are lost in the din.
Producers SR Prakash Babu and SR Prabu ensure decent production values. Cinematographer S Ravi Varman of the recent 'Ponniyin Selvan' movies fame opts for subdued colour tones. GV Prakash Kumar's tunes are average. The BGM is not bad.
Editor Philomin Raj's work is unremarkable. Stunt master Anl Arasu's fights don't have any special feature. Rakendu Mouli Vennelakanti's dialogues and Banglan's production design are mid.
Director Raju Murugan attempts to make a film that is a mix of spoof, dark comedy and police procedural. The first two aspects work (where they do) because of Karthi's acting prowess. The last aspect, however, falls flat.
The premise of a mega heist leading to a cat-and-mouse chase is hardly novel. This much was evident even from the trailer. But the film was expected to be salvaged by surprises in the second half. The latter half, however, comes undone by certain forced elements. The attempt to lend complexity to the character Japan is shorn of novelty, with the mother sentiment lacking in originality and sincerity.
The interval bang triggers hope that the second half will be riveting. The talk of a 'peculiar evidence' is not followed through. The element related to the protagonist's political aspirations is not fleshed out properly. What is on display is a belaboured set of underdeveloped ideas. The hero's rivals should have received better treatment and robust character arcs. The narration falls flat in the second half, leaving the audience high and dry.
'Japan' is flat and only consistent comedy could have saved it. But the humour comes in bits and pieces. Even Karthi fails to redeem the film.