'Enemy' is currently playing in theatres. Let's find out what works and what doesn't.
The film tells the story of two friends who become foes. Prakash Raj plays a gutsy retired CBI officer who wants his son Rajeev (Arya) to become his worthy successor. His neighbour's kid Surya (Vishal) is more intelligent than Rajeev, who grows jealous as a kid. Many years later, Surya has grown into a secretive vigilante in Singapore. For his sentimental and unassuming father (Thambi Ramaiah), Surya is a businessman running a supermarket. But he has a second face.
In comes Rajeev, seeking to assassinate an Indian Minister in Singapore. It's up to Surya to foil his mission. A dark gang in China is also thrown into the mix.
Vishal is able, although he doesn't offer anything new in terms of acting. The actor's agility and aptness in action scenes help the matters. Arya is an able match. The Telugu audience haven't seen him in such a role prominently. This Diwali release might help Arya. While Prakash Raj's character is not full-fledged, he makes a thorough impact. Incidentally, the versatile actor is also seen in this week's another Diwali release, 'Peddanna'. Thambi Ramaiah is talented, while Karunakaran as Surya's friend is routine.
Mrinalini Ravi plays Surya's girlfriend, while Mamata Mohandas is seen as Rajeev's clandestine girlfriend. Malavika Avinash, Marimuthu and George Maryan are part of the cast.
Sam CS's BGM takes a beaten track. It's inventive only occasionally. Thaman's music is jaded. The 'Tum Tum' song comes with horrible placement. RD Rajasekhar's cinematography is nice, although more sophistication was expected. Since the film is an action thriller, Ravi Verma's action choreography should have been top-notch. T Ramalingam's production design understands the ambience and feel of Singapore. But the flavour becomes generic after a point.
In 'Enemy', the stakes are high. Three countries are involved in the mix. There are conspiracies of a gigantic scale. At the centre are two individuals, who were once friends. One has become a genius, the other one is an evil genius. But only the former has it easy, while the latter always has it hard.
A lot of the potential of 'Enemy' depended on how Surya's supreme intelligence and Rajeev's evilness played out. And it is not superb. There is a backstory that is too elaborate. Mass tragedies play out without moving us.
Both Surya and Rajeev execute their respective agendas secretly. The drama that emanates from his secrecy is not exciting. In showing Surya as a serial helper, an ethical hacker, and a vigilante rolled into one, 'Enemy' also resorts to too many cinematic liberties.
The rom-com track didn't need to be so elaborate. Even in major attacks, the cops of Singapore are caught unawares. They say they don't have evidence to do something. Why do they need evidence when they know there is a potential threat to a Minister's life? In a pacy film, a character would have been detained before the audience is told he will be detained.
Surya is a local mass leader in a foreign land. But, after, a point, we wonder why the film was set in Singapore. It could have been set in Hyderabad. But this is one just of the many things that we don't get about the film.
The prologue of 'Enemy' is great. But the second half tests your patience.