Run Baby Run (Disney+Hotstar)
Cast: RJ Balaji, Aishwarya Rajesh,Isha Talwar, Smruthi Venkat,Hareesh Peradi, Bagavathi Perumal, Vivek Prasanna,Nagineedu
Don’t get him wrong.Sathya means well. He is the damsel-in-distress type. A godfearing banker engaged to marry a nice wholesome ‘modern’ girl(the kind who says, ‘Cool’ when when she wants to sound cool), Sathya one day has an unwanted guest. A woman on the run(Aishwarya Rajesh , wasted) seeks his help. He lets her into his house. Only to find her dead in the bathroom the next morning.
What next? I wondered as I sat up on my chair alert to the writer’s blog.
This is where we question the concept of the guest as God. What if ‘God’ causes you unforeseen trouble?
From this beginning(also, one suicide and one near-suicide) Run Baby Run constructs and bombs its own bizarre sequence of events which seem to focus on only one emotion: anxiety.
Writer-director Jiyen Krishnakumar piles on the the twists and turns in the plot with the sole purpose of staying ahead of the audience, logistics be damned. It’s like that news editor in Irving Wallace’s novel The Almighty manufacturing and staging “news” to stay ahead of the competition.
There is a shrill desperation in the storytelling as to how to hold our attention. Some of the plot twists are woefully unconvincing. From the moment Sathya stuffs the deceased woman’s body in suitcase his adventures in blunderland begin to look highly suspicious. It is unacceptable to see a man who had nothing to with the murder committing suicide after he finds the suitcase with the body.
Events move at a rapid fire pace to cover for the lack of coherence ,even logic.There is no death of action in the plot. We are supposed to be helplessly windswept into the goings-on. The entire impact of the sledgehammer suspense rests on leading man R J Balaji who gives an all-new definition to the concept of deadpan.
In some ways, Balaji’s imperturbable face is an asset: when you have so much happening in the plot, the actor will either ham or restrain himself.Balaji chooses the latter option. Actors like Radhika Sarathkumar(in a wheelchair for no reason except to make the hero’s mother look tear-ful) are wasted as Balaji occupies nearly every frame.
By the time we know the killer’s identity,it is too late to get involved with the act of justice.Too much injustice has already been done,not only to the protagonist but to the viewers who are force-fed this frenzied catch-a-killer race designed like a video game running on borrowed time.