Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
CBI 5: The Brain Movie Review : A tantalising and twisty crime thriller
In a session for newly qualified IPS officers, CBI officers Balu (Renji Panicker) and Sharath (Ramesh Pisharody) recount a case that baffled them until the clue to the truth was ultimately uncovered in the signature CBI style. The case, which was forced on the agency, involved a series of murders, which the media dubbed as ‘basket killings’. Sethurama Iyer (Mammootty) takes it up, and he goes after every clue, fragments of memories and thoughtless utterances, which finally unmasks the real villain.
As the film orbits around many murders, this is a story that you might lose track of unless you are attentive enough. There are many suspects; their identities and motives and even randomly thrown hook lines of various scenes might make you doubt every other person on the screen. But as they say at the ‘session’ in the film, this is a case that truly challenges the ‘brainy’ Iyer too, so, it’s not one of those reel cases one can probably enjoy binge-watching. Just like the investigators, one, too, should be as involved as new scenarios and suspects emerge. And if you are a viewer who finds that entertaining, the proceedings can be thrilling; if otherwise, it can get a bit puzzling.
At the first intermission point, one’s brain can bubble up with a lot of information, analysis and more as the cops are still piecing the puzzles together. In the second half, the film succeeds in keeping us on tenterhooks and intrigued enough, till the crucial clue finally gets dissected by Mr. Iyer.
The character is a piece of cake for Mammootty, whose mannerisms as Iyer is yet again, classy. Jagathi Sreekumar fans also get a handful of delightful, important moments on the screen through his character Vikram. The team deserves applause for incorporating his character, too, into the story, despite the several shortcomings they might have faced considering the actor’s present health condition. The much-loved background score of this series, yet again, adds punch to the tale as the investigation team crosses each of their milestones.
There are quite a few scenes in the beginning of the story in which a handful of dead bodies are shown, and the makers aren’t trying much to hide the gruesome nature of the deaths. Heads up for those who can’t digest such scenes easily.
Delightfully star-studded and twisty, the film is a mystery-laden treat to those who love the franchise and the genre. Just stay away from spoilers as smartly as you can!