No Frills
50%Overall Score

Streaming on Zee5

A narrative involving a determined female cop and a police dog fighting crime is an interesting premise that debutant director LC Santhanamoorthy’s maiden effort Danny offers. Starring Varalakshmi Sarathkumar and Pinky the dog in the titular role, the film unfurls as a straightforward murder mystery that takes place in the rural milieu of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu. Inspector Kundhavai (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) is an upright hard as nails policewoman assigned to head crime in her hometown where gruesome incineration of a woman in the crop fields has sent shockwaves among the people of the village. Suspecting that there is more to the mystery, Kunthavai involves Danny, the police sniffer dog to help in the investigation and lead her to the perpetrator. But when tragedy hits very close to home, the gritty cop takes matters into her own hands.

Varalakshmi holds it together

Danny presents Varalakshmi Sarathkumar with yet another opportunity to shine in a prominent female-centric role and the actor does justice with a solid dependable performance. She looks the part and plays Kunthavai with an economy of effort and body language. Her character isn’t sidelined by an unwarranted romantic track or songs either.

The script holds precious little though

While Danny is a straightforward whodunnit, its script suffers from the rookie error-it isn’t thrilling enough. If you are awaiting the customary twist in the tale or the staple diet of red herrings, there are none. Instead, we get a plot that is too basic leaving no room for any sort of development. As a result, the character arcs of Varalakshmi’s Kundhavai, the dog trainer, the sister and even the perpetrator of the crime aren’t explored beyond the surface level. The why’s and the how’s are pivotal to narratives of this nature and while the necessary loopholes are plugged with authentic jargon, we are left craving a few threads to explain themselves.

More of the “dog”ged defender, please?

For a film that bases its theme and title on the skills of a crafty canine, Danny the sniffer dog played by the adorable labrador Pinky definitely deserves more screen time than offered. The four-legged cutie is adorable, well trained and performs competently in all her scenes. One only wishes that there was more meat (pun intended) for her to chew on!

WATCH OR NOT

Danny works as a simplistic thriller for viewers who aren’t looking for anything more. It could have been more enticing with some spice to the story. Watch it if you are a Varalakshmi fan and a dog lover.

Writer: LC Santhanamoorthy
Director: LC Santhanamoorthy
Music: Santhosh Dayanidhi
Cast: Varalakshmi Sarathkumar, Anitha Sampath, Vinoth Kishan, Pinky the dog
Language: Tamil
Streaming on: Zee 5