Dark Impulse (2011), a gripping Spanish thriller, stars the captivating Veronica Echegui, Alex García & Juan Pablo Shuk. The original Spanish title is ‘Lo Mejor De Eva’.
The Plot: Judicial Ethics Meets Forbidden Passion
Eva (Leonor Watling) is a young, integrous, and relentless judge. Her judicial career, prompted by her father, a former prosecutor, has shaped her in his image. With him now in a coma, she finds herself dealing with the death of a young stripper, Liuba (Polina Kiryanova). This sets the stage for Lo mejor de Eva aka Dark Impulse (2011), directed by Mariano Barroso. It’s his comeback after Hormigas en la boca(2005) and Kasbah (2000).
Dark Impulse starts as a typical courtroom drama, where we get to know the Eva. What initially appears as a straightforward legal proceeding, soon spirals into an unexpected romantic entanglement as Eva falls for Rocco (Miguel Angel Silvestre), the key witness and former boyfriend of the murdered girl. As Eva and Rocco’s relationship tightens, the film morphs into a high-voltage erotic thriller. The scenes showcasing the chemistry between the protagonists are the film’s best parts.
From Courtroom to Bedroom: Eva’s Struggle with Desire
Eva’s life, which has always been deeply entrenched in her legal work, begins to unravel as she succumbs to her intense attraction to Rocco. The judge, initially cold and distant, transforms into a passionate woman driven by impulses she never knew she possessed.
These drastic changes not only affect her personal life but also have implications for the ongoing murder case. As the plot progresses, the line between right and wrong becomes increasingly blurred, pulling the viewer into a thrilling whirlpool of suspense and eroticism.
Echoes of Urbizu: A Tale of Two Judges
The film, in some ways, echoes Enrique Urbizu’s No Rest For the Wicked (2011), which also features a judge with many similarities to Eva. However, where Urbizu’s film focused on a cop, Barroso’s centers on Eva’s life. Everything changes when Rocco (Miguel Angel Silvestre), the boyfriend of the murdered girl, becomes the key witness.
From Verdict to Vulnerability: The Dark Impulse of Events
The film grips the viewer’s attention from the get-go. However, due to its unpredictability and sudden shifts in tone and genre, it may lead to some confusion. The transformation of Dark Impulse from a courtroom drama into an erotic thriller could take the viewer by surprise.
Despite these abrupt shifts, the film does an impressive job of maintaining the suspense and intrigue throughout, offering a thrilling experience for those who enjoy genre-bending narratives.
The Lighting of the film, particularly in the erotic scenes, is noteworthy. The camera work in these scenes is exceptional, creating an ambiance that accentuates the charged chemistry between Eva and Rocco.
A Final Thought: Dark Impulse
The way Dark Impulse combines elements of a courtroom drama with those of an erotic thriller, echoes the tonal shifts seen in films such as Basic Instinct. It also reflects narrative elements seen in Body Heat, where the lines between law and desire, right and wrong, are obscured, creating a morally grey space that is as intriguing as it is unsettling. The film’s unique blend of genres sets it apart, while also drawing parallels with other classics in the erotic thriller category.
So, if you are a fan of such movies, give it a try. Dark Impulse is an interesting pick for those looking for a film that is not just a thriller but also explores into human psychology and sensuality.
As an ardent fan of Pawan Kumar, my expectations were sky-high for Dhoomam, especially after being enamored with his last web series, Kudi Yedamayithe. I eagerly waited two long years for Pawan Kumar to unveil his new work, post Kudi Yedamayithe.
However, to my disappointment, I couldn’t find the signature sophistication and finesse I had anticipated from Pawan Kumar in Dhoomam. It doesn’t show the output of 2 years of homework.
The plot centers around Avinash (Fahadh Faasil), who is the marketing head of a major tobacco company. He and his wife Diya (Aparna Balamurali) find themselves held hostage in a secluded hilly terrain. The kidnapper issue a series of demands via phone calls, prompting Avinash and Diya to complete certain tasks to save their lives.
The film switches between the couple’s present predicament and flashbacks to Avinash’s career rise in the tobacco company run by Sid (Roshan Mathew). In the past, we see Avinash’s cunning methods to promote the company’s products and influence government policies.
The plot leaves some loose ends, with questions around who the ‘faceless’ caller is and why Avinash is being targeted instead of Sid, the actual head of the company.
Expectations and Initial Disappointment
Director Pawan Kumar’s effort to highlight a grave issue like smoking deserves applause. However, the film’s execution leaves much to be desired. The kidnapping scene at the beginning of the film is unconvincing and disrupts the viewing experience. The film’s pacing feels off, with crucial events happening too rapidly and without adequate build-up. These elements, combined with a plethora of continuity errors, contribute to a sense of disconnection from the narrative.
Direction and Continuity Issues
When the movie starts, we can see Aparna Balamurali is waiting for Fahad Fazil and it’s raining, but while getting into the car, you can see that she is not at all wet. I couldn’t find any raindrops on her face, hair, or dress. If this movie was directed by any other directors from Kannada, I wouldn’t have cared, but since it was Pawan Kumar, this was a friction point for me.
With poor editing and scripting, the kidnapping scene in the movie was so artificial and unconvincing for me. There were a lot of loopholes in that scene, and I found so many continuity issues in just 20 minutes of the film. For example, I don’t know why the kidnapper took the watch from Fahad Fassil. While driving, there is a watch on his left hand, but in the morning it is not there.
There is a fight scene between a gunman and Fahad Fassil, and you can see a lot of wounds and bruises over his face and body, but after a face wash, he is clean and left with only a scar.
Characterization and Plot Development
When it comes to the plot development, I would say it is highly predictable and filled with cliched events.
The character development also suffered from amateur first thoughts. Take Fahad Fazil’s character Avinash as an example; he was portrayed as a creative thinker, problem-solver, and ambitious individual. However, the writer failed to provide a compelling trigger for this character’s transformation or introspection. I found it unconvincing that such a calculating character would alter his mindset without a strong reason.
All this means I couldn’t enjoy the movie at all? A Big No!!
Why You Should Try This Movie
There are some dialogues from Fahad Fazil as a marketer that really strike every citizen, I believe. For example, the way Avinash (Fahad) marketed the vapes was so brilliant, and as a marketer, I find it so interesting, and I realized how dangerously our emotions and mirror neurons work.
Similarly, the government’s involvement in promoting tobacco usage was represented neatly.
Fahadh Faasil, playing the ambitious marketer, delivers a solid performance, reflecting his character’s complexity and moral struggle. Aparna Balamurali, despite a somewhat overly dependent character, brings credibility to her role. Roshan Mathew also offers a convincing portrayal in his role as the head of the tobacco company.
The climax is well-drafted, so realistic, and well-executed. I strongly believe that climax can make a huge impact on anyone who smokes; at least they will think twice next time when they hold a cigarette. The last 15 minutes of the film were really worth it, and that’s where I found the signature of Pawan Kumar.
Despite its flaws, “Dhoomam” delivers a potent social message. The impactful final scenes carry a significant enough message to make smokers reconsider their habits, highlighting the dangers of tobacco usage.
It might be best described as a missed opportunity – a film that could have been a powerful social commentary but falls short due to its execution.
Kerala Crime Files, As Hotstar’s first Malayalam thriller web series, I held high hopes. And I was happy to see that Disney Hotstar managed to meet my expectations in terms of production quality.
The series, set in 2011, showed a clear investment in recreating that era’s technological and ambient milieu. The craftsmanship on display was remarkable.
Penned by Aashiq Imar and directed by Ahammed Khabeer (known for ‘Madhuram’ and ‘June’), I had a feeling that the narrative might have fared far better as a standalone OTT movie instead of a web series.
A Case of Too Long a Tale
The plot, at its core, is simple. Sub-Inspector Manoj and his team of four are on the heels of a sex worker’s murderer. Their leads? A fake address: Shiju Parayil Veedu, Neendakara, and a witness who claims the suspect has squinted eyes. They are solving the case within six days (6 Episodes).
It sounds gripping, doesn’t it?
However, as the story opened up, my interest began to wane. The narrative felt like a wafer-thin premise stretched far too thin; it’s pretty evident that the writer didn’t spend much time with the characters or the events. If it were a 100-minute movie, this writing might work well, but I am not sure about a crime-thriller web series.
The series takes off slowly, with the first two episodes feeling like they could have been compressed into one. The narrative regains momentum in the third episode, establishing a robust motive for the lead character (S.I. Manoj) to track down the killer. But after that, the excitement ebbs again, only to return in the fifth episode.
Although the choice to depict six days across six episodes lends realism, the thrill factor takes a hit, perhaps a side effect of my steady diet of thrillers.
Written Poor, but Executed Well
The characters, whether the killer or the police officers, lack depth and layers. The addition of officers’ personal lives seemed a ploy to stretch the runtime, lacking subtlety or layers. The writer tried to build an image of the murderer with the first five episodes, and when it was finally revealed, I found a mismatch between the buildup and reality. That’s where I felt the writer should have spent much more time with the scripting.
In the climax, the explanation of the motto felt artificial. The victim character did not pull it off well enough to make it convincing. However, I really enjoyed the villain and his subtle cues.
The series showcases commendable performances from Aju Varghese in the lead role, supported by Navaz Vallikunnu, Zhinz Shaan, and Devika Rajendran. Zhinz Shaan’s constable “Pradeep” deserves a special mention for his steadfast character arc. His obstinate and narrow-minded approach distinguishes him from his colleagues. Another noteworthy performance is that of Lal in the role of CI Kurian.
To sum it up, lower your expectations, and you may find ‘Kerala Crime Files’ enjoyable. While it manages to retain your attention, it falls short of being a nail-biting thriller. The expectations set by the trailer didn’t fully translate into the series, and it spoiled my experience with this thriller.
My Opinion: A Promising Start, but Does It Deliver? Doubtful
Have you ever wondered how scriptwriters create characters? Do they start from scratch? What lenses do scriptwriters use when they watch movies? Here, we will do a mini-script analysis to understand this better. To do this, we will look at the theme (events), characters, and the plot. I will focus on the characters and events more.
For the purpose, we are choosing Thief, a 1981 American neo-noir heist action thriller film directed and written by Michael Mann. The film is loosely based on The Home Invaders by Frank Hohimer.
Thief (1981) A Brief Summary
In this 1981 film, Thief, Frank is a jewel thief of unparalleled skill. He manages to keep his past hidden behind the façade of a successful businessman. He has two thriving businesses and a seemingly peaceful life, but is it all as serene as it appears?
Frank thinks he has everything figured out. But there is one thing missing from his life: a family. When he starts dating Jessie, a cashier, the missing piece seems to be falling into place.
But then, everything changes. Frank is double-crossed during one last job, a diamond heist. His fencer, Joe Gags, is brutally killed, and his share of the loot is stolen. He is betrayed by Leo, a mob boss who has been watching his every move.
From a thrilling diamond heist gone wrong, to a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with vengeance, and an unexpected twist in his personal life, Frank’s world spirals into chaos. His trusted friend is murdered, his family is threatened, and everything he’s worked for is on the brink of ruin.
But Frank is not going down without a fight. A man with nothing to lose is the most dangerous kind. Armed with determination, a burning desire for revenge, and a whole lot of explosives, Frank is ready to burn his past to the ground and settle the score. He’s done playing by the rules. It’s time for the master thief to step out of the shadows.
A Perfect Script & A Well Written Character
Let’s analyse the script and try to understand how the screenwriter Michael Mann might have developed it. What might have been his thought process when he started developing the script about Frank?
Frank is a complex character. He is a skilled thief with a hardened exterior, but he also has a desire for a simple, “normal” life. This desire for normalcy comes from his need for stability, which is likely a reaction to his tumultuous past and ongoing criminal activities.
He shows signs of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to his past experiences in prison. He is hyper-vigilant, has recurring bouts of anger, and struggles with emotional intimacy. These experiences have also made him resilient and resourceful, but they have also made it difficult for him to trust others and let go of control.
Frank is an introverted individual who has adapted to survive in a world that demands extroversion. He is guarded, self-reliant, and meticulous in his work. He prefers solitude or the company of a select few. This could be a coping mechanism to manage his PTSD symptoms and control his environment.
Throughout the story, Frank goes on a journey of self-discovery and self-reconciliation. He is forced to confront his “shadow” (the hidden, darker aspects of his personality) and integrate it with his “persona” (the mask he presents to the world). This is a key part of his character arc.
Three Acts & Three Psychological Approaches
ACT ONE: Dissonance and Identity Crisis
In the first act, Frank aspires to live a normal life, indicating a clear cognitive dissonance between his personal identity and his occupational identity as a thief. This internal conflict plays a crucial role in driving the narrative and establishing the emotional tension in the film. This dissonance is a key driving force for the narrative and sets up the emotional tension.
ACT TWO: Confrontation and Growth
In the second act of Thief, Frank’s inner conflict becomes too much to bear. After Leo betrays him, Frank’s dreams of a normal life are shattered. He is forced to face the reality of his criminal lifestyle.
Frank realises that he can’t have both. He can’t be a thief and have a normal life. This realisation is a turning point for Frank. It leads him to change his behaviour and attitude.
This confrontation can be related to thepsychoanalytic concept of ‘insight’. Frank’s confrontation with reality is a powerful moment of self-awareness. It propels him into the third act of the story.
Act Three: Resolution and Reconciliation
In the third act, Frank undergoes a transformation. He wants to escape his criminal past, so he embraces his “shadow” – the part of his personality that he had previously tried to suppress or deny. In Jungian psychology, confronting and accepting one’s shadow is a crucial step in achieving self-integration. Frank’s decision to quit his life of crime marks his journey towards reconciling his conflicting identities.
Frank’s narrative, from conflict through confrontation to resolution, mirrors a psychological journey that many individuals undertake when they confront uncomfortable truths about themselves.
In Thief, this journey is not only an exploration of Frank’s character but also a wider commentary on identity, morality, and the potential for personal change.
Why A Must Watch?
Thief is one of the best “One Last Job” or “Double Life Rom-Com” movies I have ever seen. The scriptwriter did an excellent job of developing the characters, and I highly recommend this movie to anyone who loves to write.
Have you ever witnessed a crime that changed your life forever? Imagine finding yourself trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse, pursued by ruthless criminals. What would you do to survive? The South African action thriller Hunting Emma directed by Byron Davis is about such an incident.
A Teacher, A Drug Lord , A Crime & A Past
Emma le Roux, a pacifist kindergarten teacher, starts a trip to visit her father in the Karoo region. However, her journey takes a dark turn when she becomes an inadvertent witness to a horrifying crime. Suddenly, Emma finds herself in grave danger, caught between the criminals and her own will to survive.
A drug syndicate, led by the menacing Bosman (Neels van Jaarsveld), is attempting to transport a cache of drugs along the road. The group, consisting of his henchmen Baz and Jay, as well as AJ and Boela, two rich boys seeking notoriety, and Bosman’s nervous cousin Piet, crosses paths with Emma.
As the criminals close in on her, Emma’s peaceful nature gives way to a fierce determination. She taps into the skills her ex-Special Forces Commando father instilled in her during years of training. Emma transforms from a pacifist into a force to be reckoned with, willing to do whatever it takes to survive.
Get ready for a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Leandie du Randt: Woman On Fire
Despite a small budget and lesser-known actors, Hunting Emma strikes gold with its performances. Leandie du Randt, in the lead role of Emma, delivers an intensely believable performance.
There is nothing new about the plot: A History of Violence, No Country for Old Men, Nobody, Man on Fire, Taken, Equaliser, Maria (2019), and Man from Nowhere—all these films use the same template. Even the recent Indian films Vikram and Kaithi follow the same structure.
They feature a compelling character with a unique set of skills who is often brought out of retirement or their peaceful existence to confront some form of injustice.
They follow a familiar formula: a protagonist with a past, a catalyst for action (often an injustice suffered by the protagonist or their loved ones), and a subsequent series of escalating confrontations culminating in a cathartic resolution.
The repetitive use of this formula doesn’t lessen its appeal. That’s the beauty of this template. Why?
Psychology Behind This Template
Here, the heroes are not one-dimensional; they carry emotional baggage, past regrets, and personal demons, just like real people do. Watching them confront and overcome their past as they struggle against the external threat can be very satisfying for audiences.
Catharsis: In modern psychology, this has been associated with the idea of emotional release and the benefit of expressing emotions. The intense situations and violent encounters in these films can provide a form of vicarious catharsis for audiences, offering a sense of relief or even exhilaration.
From the perspective of a scriptwriter, these patterns serve both practical and artistic purposes. On the practical side, they provide a structure that guides the progression of the narrative, helps maintain tension and pace, and keeps audiences engaged.
On the artistic side, these patterns allow writers to explore different facets of a character’s personality, their moral and ethical boundaries, and how they evolve over the course of the narrative.
Script writer Deon Meyer did an excellent job considering this aspect.
Why Hunting Emma is a Must Watch!
So, Hunting Emma got a tick for all the above reasons, and I highly recommend it for you.
Hunting Emma is a unique blend of intense action, suspense, and character development.
The film takes us on a thrilling ride through the South African wilderness, showcasing both the beauty of the landscape and the depths of human determination. Great work from cinematographer William Collinson.
If you’re tired of the same old Hollywood blockbusters and you’re open to trying something new, then this South African Thriller might be the breath of fresh air you need.
So, are you ready to try a thriller from the other side of the world? Are you going to give Hunting Emma a watch? Let me know in the comments!
What’s the big advantage of making a thriller film like Por Thozhilas a debutant, especially a homicide thriller? You might think it’s the heart-pounding suspense or the dark and mysterious aesthetics.
But from a scriptwriter’s perspective, the real charm lies in its easiness. If you have a solid “whodunit” hook and a twist in the end, you need only to ensure a smooth investigation filled with a few impressive moments. For debutant directors, it’s a surefire strategy. and there you have it. A recipe for minimum an above average status.
And that’s where Por Thozhil fits in. It’s a murder mystery that plays safe, sticking to the tried-and-tested formula.
It’s thrilling, engaging and, above all, familiar. But is that necessarily a bad thing? Not at all!
Familiar Grounds, Engaging Watch
Pick any classic homicide thriller and you’ll start seeing a pattern.
The detective often wrestles with personal loss, chronic illness, or a haunting past. He then stumbles upon an extraordinary case, perhaps involving a serial killer or a brutal murder. The movie ends with a twist; the detective overcomes his struggles; sometimes, the audience sympathises with the killer. While most cases end happily, occasionally the detective loses his life or his partner. There are outstanding exceptions like Chinatown or Memories of Murder. (Read why ‘Memories Of Muder is different here.)
Por Thozhil doesn’t deviate from this blueprint. And although this might sound repetitive, the real magic happens in the journey from the start to the finish. That’s where the storyteller can truly make a mark.
From the classic ‘Silence of the Lambs’ to the recent Malayalam thriller ‘Kooman,’ the difference lies in the journey – the route it takes from the departure point to the destination.
However, Por Thozhil doesn’t break new ground. It embraces the cliched template, with several elements reminiscent of countless other detective thrillers. Nikhila Vimal’s character, buddy cop frustrations, mentor cop arrogance, serial killer, and the ending twist are all elements borrowed from a hundred other detective thrillers.
Falling Short of Convincing: The Local Flavour is Missing
One downside of Por Thozhil is that it misses out on the local flavour. The serial killer’s backstory would make more sense in countries with lower population densities( 32/sq.km), like Canada or Australia but in Tamil Nadu with 555 people in a square kilometer, it’s not that convincing.
Why are our filmmakers fixated on these Western-style plotlines?
Why not develop detective thrillers that resonate with our culture, demographics, and geography?
The last time I felt like I was watching an authentic Indian detective thriller was ‘Joseph’, not a mere adaptation of a foreign thriller. Even Ila Veezha Poonchira and Kooman were succesful in adding the local flavour and serving it as a genuine Indian Thriller.
Thrills and Chills: It’s All About the Unravelling
Another bone I have to pick with Por Thozhil is how the narrative unfolds.
It seems as if the clues chase the detective, rather than the other way around. This takes away from the excitement or “got omething new” moment that should naturally come with a thriller.
For example, when you watch the Malayalam thriller ‘Memories’, you will find many occasions where the detective brilliantly did some outside-the-box thinking without his super-computer brain, which can remember and recall everything (like in Por Thozhil).
There’s a scene towards the end where Prakash (Asok Selvan) decodes a ‘who’ in a coffee shop. For me, this was one of the most superficial decodings I’ve ever seen.
The lack of an intensive, painstaking investigative process can make the narrative feel a bit superficial and detracts from the immersive viewing experience.
Por Thozhil Cast: The Saving Grace
Despite the movie’s shortcomings, the performances shine. Sarath Kumar is spectacular as the senior cop. Ashok Selvan’s portrayal of Prakash, the rookie officer, also deserves applause.
Prakash (Ashok Selvan) is a newbie, and initially, Sarath Kumar has little hope or trust in him. There’s a scene where Prakash determines the time of death by measuring the brain temperature of the dead body (If you watch thrillers, nothing new in the method). Sarath Kumar’s subtle reaction beautifully conveys a sense of pride, a kind of “Paravayilley” reaction.
Sharath Kumar mesmerised me with his effortless acting and the subtle reactions throughout the movie.
The casting of late actor Sarath Babu is another highlight. His portrayal of the vulnerable and guilt-ridden antagonist brings a sense of realism to his character.
Nikhila Vimal, however, has room for improvement.I didn’t see the character Veena in the film; instead, I saw Nikhila Vimal playing a supporting role to Sarath Kumar.
There’s another character I want to mention, but that might be a spoiler. The casting could have been better there as well. It wasn’t convincing considering body language, reaction, or emotional appeal.
For debutant director Vignesh Raja, Por Thozhil seems like a safe bet. His clever blend of elements works for a mainstream audience, making the movie a passable watch for fans of the genre. Despite some missteps, the film is a testament to his potential as a promising filmmaker.
It’s not groundbreaking, but it still manages to be an entertaining watch. The actors, especially Sarath Kumar and Ashok Selvan, do a fine job. If you’re in the mood for a decent detective thriller, Por Thozhil might be just the ticket.
Veeran is about a man named Kumaran, played by Hiphop Adhi, who gains superpowers due to a childhood incident. He has the ability to control minds for a short period and can discharge electric arcs. The movie is set in a village where a corporate body, led by a character named Sharath, plans to implement a dangerous project.
Kumaran decides to use his powers to protect his village and its people. He disguises himself as the long-forgotten guardian deity of the village, Veeran. The film’s narrative revolves around Kumaran’s journey in stopping the corporate project and how Sharath (Vinay Rai) plans to remove Veeran from their path.
The movie directed by ARK Saravan, explores themes of Myth, Massy-Superpower and village absurd comedy. Despite being a superhero movie, it tried to keep its touch with reality and village life, and these aspects make it interesting. The humor, action, and music add to the charm of the film.
Veeran reminds us of “Velayudham” because of the dialogues, costumes, and the climax, where the protagonist assumes a guardian deity’s identity to protect his people.
The character sketch of Veeran bears a resemblance to “Karthikeya”.
The narration around the temple in “Veeran” is quite similar to “Mundasupatti”, and there is even a dialogue referencing it.
Minnal Murali seems to have inspired Veeran in its plot and acts. Even the character of Kaali Venkat in Veeran appears to be similar to Aju Varghese’s role in Minnal Murali. Both characters provide comic relief and being a detective behind the main super-heroes.
The major difference between Veeran and Minnal Murali is in the writing. Minnal Murali has a steady, well-paced character development and transformation into a superhero, whereas Veeran tends to be more sudden in these aspects because of its poor writing.
What Could Have Been Better: Writing
Firstly, the pacing in the first half of the movie could have been better. The story’s development and character introductions felt sudden and could have been more gradual to allow the audience to connect better with the characters and their transformations.
Secondly, the narrative suffers from various logical loopholes. This indicates that the script could have used a little more time and thought. A more tightly woven plot would have significantly enhanced the movie’s overall impact.
Thirdly, the utilization of the superhero aspect of Veeran could have been done more creatively. The film does not fully explore the potential of Adhi’s superpowers, especially in the confrontations.
Finally, the villain characters, played by Vinay Rai & R Badree, could have been more compelling. A stronger antagonist would have added more tension to the plot, making the story more engaging for the viewers.That’s what worked best for Minnal Murali.
Why You Should Try Veeran
Veeran is set in a rural backdrop, offering a fresh and inter
esting take on the usual urban-centric superhero movies. The depiction of village life and its nuances add to the film’s charm.
This week, there are two super-heroes Spiderman and Veeran, I believe children should try this different superhero. Let them get a different perspective.
For fans of superhero movies, Veeran presents a novel, desi superhero, which isn’t very common in Indian cinema, especially Tamil cinema. The unique powers of mind control and discharging electric arcs set our hero apart.Thanks to Minnal Murali for this initiative.
Performance of Hiphop Adhi, R Badree & others.
Hiphop Adhi, as the lead character, delivers a solid performance. His portrayal of the superhero character, with all its complexities, is commendable and a major reason to watch the movie. R Badree nailed his role as a villain.
Good use of Comedy & Myth
The film manages to weave in subtle-humor throughout the plot, making it entertaining. Especially, the situational comedy sequences involving R Badree is a special treat. There is a surprise comedy for you from Munshikanth and Kaali Venkat in the climax.
The way Veeran(Kumaran) uses Myth, is intriguing, it clearily shows how religious systems works, this is where I felt like Veeran is a mediocre Mundassupatti. But still it’s worth considering there are no creepy romantic track.
Veeran doesn’t quite reach the heights of films like “Minnal Murali”, it still manages to entertain and engage the audience to a certain extent.People were laughing and clapping at theatre, especially children enjoyed the most, I guess.
Remember the first half is slow-paced & poorly written, but in the second half Veeran team did a better job. You may find some thrilling moments.
If you’re a fan of superhero movies and are interested in seeing a different take on the genre, Veeran could be worth a watch. But go in without high expectations, and you might find yourself enjoying the film.
Asur season 1 presents a fascinating blend of mythological lore and modern-day crime. In this blog post, I will explain the reasons why Asur season 1 stands out, highlight the cast and performances, and provide a recap of the episode-wise plot points.This will serve as a refresher for those who are eagerly anticipating the release of Asur season 2.
The series has made a significant impact on the Indian web series scenario due to its unique concept and storytelling, which blends two very contrasting themes – ancient Indian mythology and modern forensic science – into a compelling narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
What sets Asur apart is its innovative use of mythology in a crime thriller. The show introduces us to a serial killer who commits horrifying murders while drawing inspiration from ancient Hindu mythological texts.
The philosophical underpinnings in each episode, particularly the dichotomy of good and evil, add a deeper layer to the narrative. It’s not just about catching a criminal; it’s about understanding human nature and the inherent capacity for both good and evil within us all.
Asur season 1 Cast: Worth Applauding
The performances in Asur are top-notch. A notable digital debut is made by Arshad Warsi, known for his comedic roles, as a no-nonsense forensic expert. His portrayal of Dhananjay Rajpoot (DJ), an intense and egoistic senior forensic expert, is refreshing and showcases the versatility of the actor.
Barun Sobti impresses as Nikhil Nair, a forensic expert-turned-teacher, grappling with personal and professional conflicts. His performance successfully conveys the internal struggle and dedication of the character to his craft. The engaging narrative of the series is further elevated by the commendable performances of the ensemble cast, including Ridhi Dogra, Anupriya Goenka, Amey Wagh, and Sharib Hashmi.
Story of Asur Season 1
Asur Episode 1 – The Dead Can Talk
It’s 11 years ago in the holy city of Varanasi. A young boy, son of a priest, is being readied to take on his father’s role. But things take a strange turn. After a ritual by the river, the father asks his son for water. The next thing you know, the father’s lifeless body is sinking into the river. We see the son again, his face smeared with ashes by a group of Aghori saints, and in his hand, he holds a cut finger. Could this be his father’s finger? Did he…kill his father?
Now, let’s zoom out of this mystery and travel across continents to the present-day FBI Training Centre in the USA. Here, we meet Nikhil Nair, who left his CBI job to teach forensic science. “The dead can talk,” he tells his students, alluding to how the deceased provide enough evidence to catch their killer. He’s good at his job, his knack for deductions proved when his friend asks his opinion on a murder case. But his past still calls him back to the CBI, particularly through an incessant Shashank Awasthi.
The Horror begins
Meanwhile, a gruesome scene unfolds in Delhi. A woman’s body, assaulted and burnt, is discarded in a jungle, reduced to a gruesome spectacle. This news reaches Nikhil, causing distress at home. His wife, Naina, isn’t happy about him considering going back to CBI, a place he left for their family. This disagreement spirals into a full-blown argument, revealing the cracks in their relationship.
The next morning, a new crime scene is discovered in Delhi, a body left in a terrifying state. Dr. Dhananjay Rajpoot, also known as DJ, arrives at the CBI headquarters in New Delhi. An old photo of him and his wife, Sandhya, hints at some history. A surprising twist comes in the form of a mysterious audio file from the killer, taunting DJ.
As the episode concludes, we see Nikhil taking a painful decision, leaving his family in the USA to return to Delhi. At the same time, a terrifying discovery is made – the woman who was brutally killed was none other than DJ’s wife, Sandhya, a devastating revelation that leaves us gasping for more.
Asur Episode 2 – Rabbit Hole
In the second episode of Asur, we go back 18 years, to the ancient city of Varanasi. We meet Shubh, a curious child who has a unique approach to studying the Gita, leading his stern father to label him as ‘Asur ka avatar’. Shubh’s peculiarity is on full display, especially after a disturbing incident with a puppy.
In today’s time, the CBI team, still reeling from the gruesome murder of Sandhya, who was a renowned painter and DJ’s spouse, takes on the challenging task of uncovering the mystery.
This mystery leads them far away to Nagaland, where another person is found dead in the same creepy way. This is where Nikhil enter the scene.
Enter Nikhil, a seasoned investigator brought in to replace DJ in this complex case. Past friction between Nikhil and DJ add an undercurrent of tension to the proceedings. Nikhil, in collaboration with Nusrat, a forensic expert, starts to put together the chilling puzzle pieces, all seemingly leading back to DJ.
Hidden GPS systems, late-night autopsies, peculiar tattoos, and Sandhya’s secret abortion start to shape a troubling narrative, pointing towards DJ as the orchestrator of the grim deeds. As DJ is led away in cuffs, the audience is left pondering – is he truly guilty, or just a pawn in a more sinister game? The suspense thickens as the real killer watches the spectacle unfold.
Asur Episode 3 – Peek – a – boo
In the third episode of Asur, a flashback reveals Shubh’s childhood intelligence and anger issues.
In the present day, Nikhil receives coordinates and assembles his team to investigate. DJ is imprisoned while the killer strikes in Kolkata, causing a death by poisoning.
The Delhi coordinates lead to a coffin factory, but no suspicious activity is found. Nikhil suspects a buried victim and discovers DJ’s fingerprints on the money from a previous case. George, a shop owner, goes missing, and Nikhil finds him unconscious in a car near a graveyard.
DJ warns Nikhil of imminent danger and reveals a personal connection. At the graveyard, the team discovers a coffin rigged with knives and gas, rendering them unconscious. A man in protective gear takes Nikhil to an unknown location, leaving the audience in suspense for the next episode.
Asur Episode 4 – Ashes from the Past
In the fourth episode of Asur, a flashback shows DJ’s presence during a havan(yagnam) ceremony where Shubh’s father is mysteriously poisoned.
In the present day, Nikhil goes missing, and his family arrives in India. Nikhil wakes up in a secluded place and communicates with the kidnapper through a landline phone.
Meanwhile, DJ receives old case files and analyzes them in jail. The kidnapper sends food to Nikhil but demands his cooperation to ensure his family’s safety. Nikhil observes the kidnapper’s characteristics and sees footage of his wife and daughter on television.
The kidnapper assigns Nikhil a task to suggest a method to murder Abhilasha Chandran, a woman involved in brain-mapping experiments. Nikhil proposes a plan involving a dental appointment and an MRI machine.
The kidnapper carries out the murder as instructed. CBI discovers another murder near a lake, prompting DJ to recall the suspicious incident in Varanasi. DJ joins the team at the underwater crime scene and suspects Nikhil’s involvement based on similarities to a past case. The episode leaves viewers questioning how Nikhil will communicate with DJ to escape the kidnapper’s clutches.
Asur Episode 5 – The Devil has a Face
In the sixth episode of Asur, a flashback reveals Shubh’s arrest for his father’s murder, with DJ working on the case.
In the present day, Naina learns about another victim and refuses to believe the theory that Nikhil might be the killer. Nikhil, disturbed by his actions, demands cigarettes from the kidnapper. Lolark seeks permission for DJ to work on the case from jail but is denied by Shashank Awasthi.
Nikhil watches the news about the neuroscientist’s body being found and becomes overwhelmed with guilt. Lolark visits Varanasi to gather information about Shubh and meets an ex-police officer. DJ attends a counseling session in jail led by Kesar Bhardwaj, where they discuss religion and karma. Awasthi finally permits DJ to work on the case, and a new team member, Samarth, joins. Lolark learns about Shubh’s peculiar behavior in jail before his alleged death in a fire.
The CBI team begins their investigation, and DJ realizes that the killer is using Nikhil’s family as leverage. Nikhil attempts to communicate by manipulating the television’s wiring. Samarth suggests studying the victims’ horoscopes, and Nikhil receives his second target, Aditya Jalan. Naina confronts DJ about the officers outside her home, and Lolark discovers Shubh’s records.
The episode ends with DJ recalling his interaction with Shubh during his arrest, hinting at a possible connection between Shubh and the killer.
Asur Episode 6 – The Firewall
Taking a different turn, the sixth episode of Asur begins with a flashback in Kolhapur, where a renowned painter narrates a story to his grandson about the defeat of the Asur Kali. However, the painter is brutally murdered by a masked man who claims to be sending a message to God.
In the present day, Nikhil plans to murder philanthropist Aditya Jalan, but struggles to breach his tight security. DJ contacts a Balinese mask instructor for information but learns that the instructor is blind. Nikhil battles with his past decisions and has an imaginary conversation with DJ for guidance.
Nusrat creates an age-progression photo of Shubh to see his current appearance. Lolark visits Shubh’s grandfather in Varanasi and discovers Shubh’s sketchbook filled with drawings of demons. DJ and Samarth consult a fake priest for horoscope analysis and later seek Kesar’s help. They learn that all the victims were born in the Delphinus constellation.
Another Hint & Hope
DJ realizes that the SIC database holds the required information and asks Rasul to breach its security. In a vision, Nikhil sees a way to murder Aditya using medicine. Rasul eventually hacks the SIC database with Naina’s assistance. Nikhil connects the television to a police walkie-talkie signal and continues studying forensic science books. DJ discusses Shubh’s story and sketchbook with Lolark.
The team suspects Aditya Jalan as the killer’s next target due to his charitable nature. The kidnapper calls DJ, confirming their suspicion and revealing the date of the planned murder. DJ wonders how the kidnapper obtained internal information. DJ and the team prepare for Aditya’s engagement with heightened security, but Aditya dismisses the threat. Rasul and Sajid attend the engagement, and DJ identifies a toy truck as a potential bomb.
The bomb detonates harmlessly in a freezer. However, the lights go out momentarily, and when they come back, Aditya is found dead, poisoned, with the killer’s Balinese mask nearby.
The episode leaves viewers intrigued about the aftermath of this incident.
Asur Episode 7 – Let There be Darkness
Straying from its usual path, the seventh episode of Asur, takes us back 10 years to Varanasi, where Nikhil visits Shubh in jail. Shubh refuses to admit his crime and blames DJ, leaving a cryptic message that they will meet soon.
The CBI struggles to recover from the failure to save Aditya Jalan. During Aditya’s autopsy, DJ and Nusrat discover that Nikhil used Aditya’s ulcer problem to poison him. Two additional non-toxic elements in Aditya’s bloodstream puzzle DJ, as they appear to be a message from Nikhil.
The kidnapper rewards Nikhil with cigarettes and hints at his omnipresence. DJ delves into Hindu mythology and consults Kesar for assistance. The team realizes that the killer targets achievers and believes himself to be the mythological devil Kali.
Nikhil has an imaginary conversation with Nusrat and recalls his past with Naina. DJ faces obstacles in the investigation, including a slow SIC server and the revelation that the podcast voice is not Kesar’s. Dhananjay(DJ) and Naina decipher Nikhil’s message, leading them to suspect Shubh’s involvement and an accomplice.
DJ decodes the meaning of two elements and sends teams to search corresponding coordinates in Delhi. Lolark suspects Kesar and provides DJ with a linguistic report. Naina tracks the killer’s search activity, and DJ requests Naina to add his name to the SIC database as bait.
The episode ends as the killer discovers DJ’s name in the database. The penultimate episode leaves viewers on the edge, anticipating the answers in the final installment.
Asur Episode 8 – End is The Beginning
The final episode of Asur takes us back 10 years to Varanasi, where DJ and Nikhil discuss Shubh’s case. DJ fabricates evidence against Shubh, leading to Nikhil’s resignation from the CBI.
In the present day, the search for Nikhil continues, and DJ anticipates the killer’s arrival at Central Jail to target him. The CBI discovers that Neeraj Jadhav, Radhika Venkatesh, and Umar Sayyed are missing, potentially the next targets. The kidnapper grows impatient, suspecting a trap set by DJ.
DJ becomes suspicious of Kesar and sends a team to his home. The three hostages are trapped in a chamber with limited oxygen, forced to fight for survival. DJ uncovers Kesar’s fake identity and his potential connection to Shubh. Rasul’s behavior raises doubt, especially when he attacks Lolark.
Nikhil escapes his confinement and collects crucial evidence from the kidnapper’s location.
A Big Revelation & A Twist
DJ manages to overpower the kidnapper in his room. However, during Shashank’s interrogation of Kesar, it is revealed that the kidnapper is part of Shubh’s cult.
The live broadcast shows the hostages’ desperate struggle for oxygen. DJ confesses his past fabrication to Shubh and takes pills in exchange for information.
Nikhil, Naina, and the backup team arrive at the chemical factory. Rasul challenges Nikhil to choose between his daughter and the hostages, resulting in a devastating choice. DJ’s condition worsens, and he is rushed to the hospital. Riya, Nikhil’s daughter, is poisoned by a member of the cult.
Lolark is killed by Rasul, and Radhika shoots Umar in a shocking turn of events. Naina and Nikhil find Riya dead, leading to an emotional outburst directed at DJ. Rasul, still hiding his true identity, takes Nikhil away.
The episode concludes with DJ’s suspension and the revelation that Rasul is the real Shubh.
Finally, the camera pans out as Shubh shares a chilling final gaze with DJ, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats and eagerly anticipating the next season.
Asur’s final episode delivers thrilling revelations and sets the stage for a potential second season, leaving viewers eagerly awaiting the future of the Shubh vs DJ and Nikhil conflict.
Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai Review: This is a powerful courtroom drama that tells the extraordinary story of an ordinary lawyer, P.C. Solanki, played by the talented Manoj Bajpayee.
Plot: Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Ha
The story unfolds in the heart of Delhi, where a brave young girl (Adrija Sinha) steps forward to accuse a highly influential godman, referred to as ‘Baba’, of sexual abuse.
P.C. Solanki, despite being a small-time lawyer, accepts the daunting task of representing the girl in court, fully aware of the serious dangers and challenges he will face. The girl’s parents hire him after their previous lawyer is exposed trying to take a bribe from Baba’s allies. Solanki faces bribery, witness intimidation, and even murder. But he never gives up. He fights for the girl and eventually wins her case.
How he wins the case against the odds, is what makes it interesting.
Outside the courtroom, Solanki, a devout Shiva worshipper, provides emotional and moral support to the victim, reinforcing her faith in justice. His firm belief in righteousness and his dedication to his profession helps him combat the threats that come his way.
P.C Solanki is a well-written character, you will understand that from the beginning itself.
The film “Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” showcases the tenacity of the common man and salutes the resilience of survivors of sexual abuse.
“Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” is inspired by the infamous 2013 case involving Asaram Bapu, a self-proclaimed godman in India. Asaram Bapu was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for sexually abusing a minor girl studying in one of his educational institutions. The character P.C. Solanki, played by Manoj Bajpayee in the film, is based on the real-life lawyer who took on the formidable task of legally challenging the influential godman.
Indeed, a significant and tragic element of the real-life case that parallels the movie is the intimidation and violence faced by witnesses, including multiple murder attempts and successful assassinations.
The Asaram Bapu case saw key witnesses facing extreme threats and violence for their willingness to testify against the godman. At least three key witnesses met their untimely death, with others surviving attacks or receiving death threats. These incidents appeared as clear attempts to intimidate other potential witnesses and obstruct the course of justice.
Similarly, in “Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai,” there are scenes showing the escalating violence against those associated with the case, including attacks on the lawyer P.C. Solanki, played by Manoj Bajpayee.
While the movie does not explicitly name Asaram, the narrative follows a similar trajectory, building towards a climactic courtroom judgement.
Cast & Performances
“Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” showcases truly extraordinary performances, with standout acts by Manoj Bajpayee and Adrija Sinha significantly enhancing the film’s impact.
Manoj Bajpayee, playing the role of P.C. Solanki, personifies the heart and soul of the film. He is well-known for his intense roles, but in this film, he steps up his performance even more. His depiction of a small-town lawyer who dares to challenge the powerful godman is an eye-pleasing performance.
Manoj Bajpayee infuses authenticity and a quiet dignity into P.C. Solanki’s character, anchoring the film with his nuanced and heartfelt act. His exceptional talent illuminates every scene, further strengthening his status as one of India’s finest actors.
Playing the role of the young victim, Nu, Adrija Sinha delivers a potent performance. Even as a newcomer in the industry, Adrija Sinha’s portrayal of Nu is touching and invites empathy. She convincingly depicts the character’s initial vulnerability and her subsequent evolution as she courageously confronts her trauma. Adrija Sinha’s sensitive performance leaves a deep impression on viewers and earmarks her as a promising talent for the future.
Furthermore, the entire cast of “Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” excel in their roles, enriching the film with depth and complexity. Each character comes to life through dedicated portrayal, creating a believable world where the story unravels.
Writer Deepak Kingrani & Director Apoorv Singh Karki
Deepak Kingrani’s writing in “Sirf Ek Bandaa Kaafi Hai” combines simplicity with depth and substance. He brilliantly exposes the complexities of a legal battle and the mental fortitude required for a victim to withstand such a dreadful experience.
His characters, from the firm lawyer, P.C. Solanki, to the brave young victim, exhibit a balance between strength and vulnerability.
These characters appear as highly respected legal minds in the film, their expertise and the respect they command depicted with striking authenticity.
Apoorv Singh Karki’s direction matches Kingrani’s writing perfectly. Karki treats the subject with great care, guaranteeing the film’s respectfulness and authenticity.
He doesn’t sensationalize the courtroom scenes; he paints them as crucial and intense, yet avoids excessive drama. Karki subtly enhances the atmosphere of danger and fear surrounding the main character. The scene where two men on a motorcycle follow P.C. Solanki illustrates this – it creates suspense and fear without relying on over-the-top action or dialogue.
Is It Worth Watching?
Powerful Performances from our very own Family Man & Adrija Sinha
Intriguing Storyline: How a common man ace against the odds, How a 16 year old set the mindset for fighting against the evil minds in the society, how a lawyer setting victim’s mindset.
Trust me, it’s worth watching this.
Social Relevance: The film tackles important social issues, focusing on the real struggles faced by victims of sexual assault, their fight for justice, and societal prejudices.
Especially, there is a conversation between Manoj Bajpayee & Victim’s father during their first meeting at his office. It’s an eye-opening narration for every parent.
Some small disappointments are: Though the storytelling is quite compelling, the film could benefit from more dynamic cinematography.
Using more varied camera angles and innovative lighting techniques could add visual layers to the narrative, making certain scenes more impactful.
Similalrly, more investment in the set design and understanding the nuances of court proceedings could have helped build a stronger environment.
In this post, we will see why ‘Memories of Murder‘ a must watch Korean thriller, where to watch “Memories of Murder” & then I will share 6 More Thrillers similar to “Memories of Murder” in the end.
“Memories of Murder”, originally titled “Salinui chueok”, is a spellbinding film that takes you on a journey into the heart of a real-life mystery.
Language: Korean Director: Bong Joon Ho (Director of Parasite) Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
What is the story of ‘Memories of Murder’
The story unfolds in 1986 in the provincial town of Hwaseong, South Korea.
The tranquility of the town is shattered when the bodies of two raped and murdered women are discovered.
Local detectives, Park and Cho Yong Koo, had to figure out who did it.
As they grapple with the mounting pressure, the investigation reveals a chilling pattern – all the murders occur in the rain, and the same haunting melody seems to echo in the background each time.
They first thought a man named Baek, who had a mental disability, could be the one behind the bad things. But then, Detective So Tae from Seoul came to help. He thought differently, which made the investigation more complicated. Right and wrong seemed to mix up.
Could they find the bad guy, or was he hiding among them?
As the story went on, they started to suspect a factory worker named Pak Hyun-gyu. He fit the pattern of the crimes. But they had to try something new and unsure to prove it – DNA testing, something not common in Korean investigations back then.
But, I won’t ruin the surprise for you.
Let’s just say things aren’t always what they seem, and sometimes the truth is harder to find than you’d think.
Why it’s a Must WatchKorean Thriller
“Memories of Murder” is a great example of storytelling.
It mixes real-life events and made-up stories to create a movie that you won’t forget even after it’s over.
This movie is not just about solving a crime. It also talks about society and the times when the crime happened. Movie shows the fear and confusion people feltwhen a psycho was hurting others and nobody could catch him. It also shows how the law was struggling to stop him.
The movie’s realistic portrayal of the investigative process, the nuanced performances, and the meticulous attention to detail make “Memories of Murder” a standout film in the crime thriller genre.
The narrative skillfully maintains a balance between fact and fiction, providing an immersive experience that both educates and entertains the viewer.
The cinematic techniques employed in the film, such as the use of weather and music to set the mood and pace, further enhance the storytelling.
Where to watch “Memories of Murder” ?
Unfortunately, this movie is not availaible in any streaming sites in India. If you couldn’t find any streaming site from your country.
If you have seen this movie, let me help you with some questions.
What is “memories of murder” based on? What case is memories of murder based on?
“Memories of Murder” is based on the real-life case of the Hwaseong serial murders, which occurred in South Korea between 1986 and 1991.The Hwaseong serial murders is the first recorded case of serial killings in South Korea, with ten women being brutally raped and murdered over a period of five years.
Is “Memories of murder” a true story? How much of “Memories of murder” is true?
The movie is a fictionalized version of these events, and while it follows the overarching narrative of the investigation, it includes fictional characters and dramatized events for cinematic purposes.
As such, it’s not a documentary-style retelling, and it takes creative liberties for storytelling. Therefore, it’s not entirely accurate to say that “Memories of Murder” is completely true, but it’s based on true events.
Over 13 years after the movie came out, there was a big update. On September 18, 2019, police named a suspect in the Hwaseong serial murders. This man, Lee Choon-jae, was in his 50s. DNA evidence tied him to the crimes.
They found a match between his DNA and DNA from a victim’s underwear. Tests also linked him to four other unsolved murders. The film didn’t reveal the killer’s identity, but in reality, they found the answer after more than 30 years.
This fact adds a scary endnote to “Memories of Murder”.
Which are some movies like “Memories of murder” ?
If you’re looking for movies that are similar to “Memories of Murder,” you might be interested in films that combine elements of crime, mystery, and suspense with strong storytelling and character development.
Here are a few suggestions:
“Zodiac” (2007): Directed by David Fincher, this movie is based on the true story of the hunt for the Zodiac Killer in San Francisco during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Like “Memories of Murder,” it’s a procedural thriller that focuses on the investigators and journalists obsessed with the case.
The Chaser (2008)
“The Chaser” (2008): This is a South Korean action thriller about a former detective turned pimp who is on a desperate search to find some of his missing girls. As he unravels the truth, he finds himself up against a brutal serial killer.
“Prisoners” (2013): Directed by Denis Villeneuve, this film is about the search for two young girls who go missing in a small town, and the lengths one of the fathers (played by Hugh Jackman) is willing to go to find them.
“Children” (2011, South Korea): This chilling movie is based on true events. In 1991, five children left their homes to catch frogs and never returned. The search for them unravels a story that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Memories of a Killer (2017)
“Memories of a Killer” (2017, South Korea): This film tells the story of a serial killer who stopped his murderous spree 17 years ago. Now, he lives with his adult daughter and is battling the early stages of Alzheimer’s. But when he stumbles upon a car with blood leaking from the trunk, his past comes rushing back.
“Montage” (2013, South Korea): This film jumps between the past and the present. 15 years ago, a girl was kidnapped and neither she nor her kidnapper were ever found. Now, someone is leaving flowers at the original crime scene and another person goes missing, reigniting the investigation.
These movies, like “Memories of Murder,” deliver suspenseful narratives that revolve around crime, justice, and the human capacity for both good and evil. They will surely keep you engaged and invested in their stories.