You have a certain image of Suresh Gopi films; either he is an honest politician or an upright cop taking on the corrupt and corroded system. So, when a newcomer tries to do a double whammy by casting him in both the roles in one film, you cannot help but praise him for the courage he has shown.
But beyond that director Jeethu Joseph's Detective turns out to be a typical fare, not because Suresh Gopi is cast in familiar roles, but because the investigative story (the film was publicised as an investigative thriller) is not intelligently written.
The story is about the suicide of the wife (Sindhu Menon) of an upcoming young political leader Mohan Kumar (Suresh Gopi number one), who is fighting a by-election for the parliament. The suspicious circumstance in which the death occurs prompts the Government to order a high level inquiry by an independent team of officers headed by Shyam Prasad (Suresh Gopi number two). Surprisingly his designation is hardly mentioned in the film. The fact that Mohan Kumar and Shyam Prasad are step-brothers is supposed to add to the complications.
The investigation as such reminds us the two latest films in CBI series starring Mammootty, where there is less of investigation and more of image projection. The same pattern was also adopted in recent Mohanlal-starrer Baba Kalayani.
Here also, the hero has premonition about where everything is headed and how things may have happened without taking the trouble of explaining anything to us or to his colleagues and subordinates (most of them are just mute spectators).
Even the complications are kept at minimum, with everyone around being a suspect. But there is no excitement as everything happens at a lethargic space with nothing in sight to pick up the momentum. Even the filial conflict is kept at the minimum.
And, the climax that has heavy influence of Shaji Kailas' The Truth, with the final phase of inquiry happening in a conference room with every person in high place, all the suspects and the public under full media glare. But the final twist will put even a comic book to shame.
The characterisations are something that holds our interest. In the beginning, Mohan Kumar is introverted and silent. The justification may be the illegitimate birth and this is the only novelty in the film. As soon as the second Suresh Gopi aka Shyam Prasad enters the scene, everything becomes normal as in every other Suresh Gopi film; the slow motion walks, the dialogues sprinkled with English etc etc.
Suresh Gopi tries his best to lift up the humdrum proceedings, but cannot do it beyond a point. His getup as Shyam Prasad is interesting with designer glasses, chic hairdo and all that, but the writing doesn't support him.
The supporting cast can make only negligible contribution as everyone is on the radar of suspicion. Sai Kumar is the only person who appears consistent; all the others have no inkling of what they are up to. Jagathy Sreekumar appears to provide comic relief as Shyam Prasad's assistant in the first half, but the screenplay unceremoniously dumps him in the second half.
In final analysis; one can only say that debutant director Jeethu Joseph presented a promising premise, but failed to capitalise on it.