A pocket full of chills and thrills has arrived on Netflix and one of the best of the thrillers is a movie called Interrogation. It is based on a true story of such horrifying acts of police brutality and atrocities it is almost too difficult to watch. And yet it is so well crafted, acted, directed, that is impossible to ignore it.
The story is about four pitifully poor daily wage workers from the state of Tamil Nadu who have come to earn their living in Andhra Pradesh, a state well known for the darker side of its racist, vicious, atrocious, pitiless policing. In this tale, the four workers – who earned their living by painting, working in a small grocery store, cleaning homes, and doing many small, menial jobs, have no home to live in. They stay in small makeshift places, under trees, or outside buildings and houses. Here they are picked up by cops and carted away to a police station, and beaten up and hounded and bullied into confessing to a robbery inside the home of a rich influential man.
The cops have been ordered to catch the robbers and get their confession within a few days. The four men are caught simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time! They are so viciously beaten and bullied that they finally confess and the movie begins to spiral around a web of hardened, ruthless criminal cops and politicians.
Too many Indian thrillers fall into the irritating mess of wrapping thrills around with songs, dances, love triangles and other boring melodramas. But this movie is tightly knit, and so well crafted that you know you are seeing much of what is truly happening in India today. It is dark, depressing, blood curdling and very painful to watch.
It is made from a book written by an auto rickshaw driver M. Chandra Kumar of Coimbatore! It is based on the 13 days he had spent inside a small, menacing, petrifying little police cell in Andhra Pradesh. The acting is so good, the music so muted, and hence, so powerful, that the movie leaves you satisfied and very glad that it wasn’t yet another whining, twittering, song and dance mess daring to call itself a thriller!
This National Award winning film from India went to the Oscars and also created a wave at the Venice Film festival. If you like your thrillers dark and powerful, don’t miss this one.