Ramya (Nandita Swetha) walks into a police station on a stormy night to file a report on her missing husband. Police officer Rahman (Vijay Prakash) listens to her story as the flashback on her relationship with Karthik (Havish) plays on screen. Then, in the middle of her storytelling, Rahman cuts her off to tell her a different story instead, of another woman named Jenny (Anisha Ambrose), who has filed a similar report. Strangely, her husband’s name is Karthik too and has all the same characteristics of Ramya’s husband.
The story of the bilingual film “Seven”—available in both Tamil and Telugu—is already intriguing before there is another plot twist, added by Abhinaya (Aditi Arya), a visually impaired woman, who files a missing case for her husband, Karthik! Rahman is bewildered to say the least and lodges a manhunt for Karthik, suspecting him of fraud and polygamy.
When Karthik is found and locked up, he strangely refuses to recognize any of the three women, while they seem to have live witnesses who can verify their relationships. He is then visited in the police station by Priya (Tridha Choudhury), who too claims to be his wife. But when she sees him in his cell, she snatches a gun from a police personnel and shoots, but only manages to injure him.
Up to this point, Seven is an enigmatic film that could go in any direction and surprise the audience out of their wits. The uncertainty and suspense in the plot keep it thrilling and interesting to watch. But as the movie progresses, it loses the plot, and goes haywire into improbability and absurdity by the time it reaches its climax. By the time the end credits roll, the film loses all its interesting traits to become just another false promise.
Director Nizar Shafi and writer Ramesh Varma combine their skills in starting this exciting thriller. But there seems to be a big confusion in production by the interval and it feels like someone else took over their jobs in the latter half.
There’s a terrible backstory of a couple of decades ago to explain Karthik’s current situation, and a psychotic killer pops up in the form of Saraswathi (Regina Cassandra). The revelation of her character was supposed to be the turning point of the film but it is so badly written, she ends up with the magnanimity for a villain behind all the confusion and carnage shown in the movie.
Strangely, we never know why the film is called Seven. Looking at the poster again tells us that it’s probably because there are seven ‘important’ characters in the story. To be honest, some of them don’t even deserve the weightage the film’s name gives them.
But what Nizar Shafi misses in direction, he somewhat makes up in cinematography. The camera work is not exactly extraordinary but considering how the film spirals in intensity, the consistency in creating thrilling visuals does manage to be a saving grace. The soundtrack by Chaitan Bharadwaj is also ordinary, but still good in the film’s context.
Meanwhile, the actors, none a big name in the industry, are also average. We know India’s southern belt is not short of acting talents, but not when you use Seven as the reference.
To sum it up, Seven starts as an extraordinary endeavor before it comes crashing down on mediocre grounds. With 1h 57-min runtime, it is like one of those over-zealous marathon runners who take a quick sprint at the start and then lose steam and fail to make it even to the Top 10.
Who should watch it?
Seven fares poorly because of our high expectations of South Indian thrillers. Otherwise, for audience who effortlessly enjoy Hindi-dubbed South Indian movies on YouTube, ‘Seven’ on Netflix can be an entertainer for sure.