Nibunan (English: Expert) is a 2017 Indian Tamil-language crime thriller film co-written, co-produced and directed by Arun Vaidyanathan. The film features an ensemble cast of Arjun, Prasanna, Vaibhav, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar and Sruthi Hariharan in the lead roles. It was Arjun’s 150th film. Featuring music composed by Navin and cinematography by Arvind Krishna, the film began production in late 2015 and was simultaneously produced in Tamil and Kannada, with the latter titled as Vismaya (English: Amazing). The two versions of the film had a worldwide theatrical release on 28 July 2017 and received positive reviews from critics.
Ranjith Kalidoss (Arjun) is a hotshot special units detective, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), and a CB-CID officer, who along with his partners Inspector Joseph (Prasanna) and Inspector Vandana (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) takes on high profile cases. Counter to his high intensity job, Ranjith has a peaceful family life with a wife, Shruti, a daughter, a younger brother, Sandeep and their family dog.
Ranjith’s boss assigns his team a task to pursue a group of five criminals, who continue to avoid justice with their influence and power. Ranjith suggests a more direct approach to taking them out, but his boss declines to go along.
Before they could pursue the current assignment, they get dragged into another mystery. A parcel arrives at the police station one day that contains a small horse doll hanging on a noose. The figure has 4 holes but otherwise no other clues. Not thinking much of it, the team decides to ignore. A few days later, a local communist leader goes missing. He is later found in warehouse hanging from the ceiling, tortured, shot, and his face covered in an animal mask, very much like the doll they received.
The killer continues to taunt the team, sending them clues as he kills more people, which includes a lawyer and a doctor. Ranjith follows one of the clues and finds the killer. But before he could take him down, the tremors he has been experiencing lately slows him down. The killer knocks out Ranjith and gets away. When his team arrives, they inform him about a dead body in one of the buildings. But, Ranjith already knows and describes what he would find without seeing it.
Back at the office, Ranjith manages to piece things together and connects the serial killings to a case he investigated earlier. Emmanuel (Suman) and his wife (Suhasini) are a rich couple in town lived with their 16 year old daughter and a caretaker. The couple were very successful business people, but had very little time for their daughter. The caretaker took care of their daughter. One day, the couple came home to find their daughter murdered and the caretaker missing. The house had been ransacked. The police close the case concluding it was a burglary gone bad and the caretaker is on the run.
A local communist leader pushes to reopen the case, which lands with Ranjith. He quickly focuses the attention on Emmanuel. He sees a new golf club in his bag and his investigation leads to the missing golf club with the caretaker’s blood on it. He interrogates Emmanuel and his wife with the evidence and they confess the truth. They came home one day to find the caretaker having sex with their daughter. Emmanuel, in anger hits him with the club and kills him. When their daughter threatens to call the police, her mom tries to stop her. In the scuffle, she accidentally falls on a sharp object and dies. Not able to wiggle their way out and driven by guilt, Emmanuel and his wife hang themselves.
Ranjith concludes the people that are killed were all involved in the case, and he himself is the next target. His boss takes over the case and tells Ranjith to get medical help for his condition. His team continues the investigate looking for a connection between Ranjith’s case and the murders. There were no other family members that could be the murderer. Emmanuel has a nephew, Christopher (Krishna in Tamil and Karthik Jayaram in Kannada), but he lives in the US.
Ranjith gets admitted to the hospital, where as he continues to look at clues, he concludes it must be Christopher, as he has the motive, means and the know how. After checking with immigration services, they find Christopher did arrive in India not too long ago. A police officer went to Christopher’s house to investigate and finds all the clues, but before he could alert his team, he is killed. Christopher baits Ranjith’s team and captures Joseph and Vandana. Having no choice, Ranjith leaves the hospital to meet Christopher at a warehouse. There, he finds Joseph and Vandana standing on the floor with nooses around their necks.
After a long struggle, Ranjith manages to overpower Christopher and hangs him. The press arrives at the site, and Ranjith tells them Christopher is another victim of the serial killer.
A few days later, Joseph and Vandana meet Ranjith at his house and ask him why he didn’t inform the press that Christopher was the serial killer. Ranjith then reveals his plan about their earlier assignment. He plans to kill the five criminals and blame it on the serial killer and also frame the last of them as the serial killer himself. During the closing end credits, it is shown that his plan worked.
Directed by Arun Vaidyanathan
Produced by Sudhan Sundaram, Umesh, Jayaram & Arun Vaidyanathan
Written by Balaji Nag (Kannada dialogues)
Screenplay by Anand Raghav & Arun Vaidyanathan
Story by Arun Vaidyanathan
Starring Arjun, Prasanna, Vaibhav, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Sruthi Hariharan
Music by S. Navin
Cinematography Arvind Krishna
Edited by Sathish Suriya
Production Passion Film Factory
Distributed by I Studios Entertainment
Release date July 28, 2017
Running time 126 minutes