DOCTOR MOVIE REVIEW: Yogi Babu and Archana Chandokhe


Nelson is the director.


Sivakarthikeyan, Priyanka Arul Mohan, Vinay, Yogi Babu, and Archana Chandokhe star in the film.


When you walk out of Nelson’s Doctor, the first thing that comes to mind is that it’s unlike anything you’ve seen from a Sivakarthikeyan film before. Taking a refreshing break from the colorful entertainers for which he is known, Sivakarthikeyan plays a dark role—of an army doctor who goes after a human trafficking gang—with few dialogues. Nelson concocts a delectably wicked dark comedy that works despite the plot’s predictable twists and turns. The eccentric treatment elevates even the most mundane scenes.
The plot is straightforward and well-known. Varun (Sivakarthikeyan) receives a phone call from his fiancée Padmini (Priyanka), who decides to cancel their wedding because he is not hip enough. When Varun and his parents return home to find out why he was rejected, they are told that he is not caring or emotional. As the wedding is postponed, news arrives that Padmini’s niece has gone missing from her school, and the family suspects kidnapping. Varun steps forward to assist them, and when he realizes the police are not taking the case seriously, he decides to take the law into his own hands. Will Varun be successful in saving a girl by capturing the leader of a human trafficking ring?
The doctor takes off slowly, and it’s strange at first to see Sivakarthikeyan deliver his lines like a robot. It’s a very mechanical performance, but once you get used to him, the film works like a charm. Apart from Nelson’s own Kolamavu Kokila, no other Tamil film in recent years has used dark comedy as effectively.
Nelson has an uncanny ability to bring laughter out of the most serious situations. Most scenes would have felt flat if Nelson hadn’t treated them with dark humor in the way he did. There’s a fantastic action sequence inside a metro train that’s one of the best in the first half. It’s inventive and outlandish. I’m not sure if this sequence would have worked in another movie.
Despite a slightly predictable second half, Doctor manages to stay afloat thanks to its use of humor to make every cliched sequence feel fresh. Yogi Babu, who usually gets small comic roles in movies, gets a lot of screen time in this one and he’s fantastic. He keeps the film alive during some of its more boring stretches with impeccable timing and a deadpan expression. Rajiv and Raghu Ram, both of MTV Roadies fame, play key characters and make intriguing casting choices. Vinay shines as the sophisticated villain once rocks due to, Anirudh Ravichander’s music, and score both keep it together.

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