Oru Melliya Kodu (Tamil) resp. AMR’s Game (Kannada) is a 2016 mystery film directed by A. M. R. Ramesh.This movie is an unofficial remake of the 2012 Spanish thriller El Cuerpo (Spanish title) also known as The Body. The film features Arjun Sarja, Shaam and Manisha Koirala in the leading roles, while Ilaiyaraaja composed the soundtrack. The two versions of the film releases months apart in 2016.
A body of a high-profile businesswoman goes missing from the morgue in the Forensic Lab. This leads to a cat-and-mouse game between the investigative office and the potential suspect, the husband of the murdered. AMR Ramesh, known to make films that are pieced together from real-life tales, returns to the big screen with this film. The team, so far, has maintained that extensive research has gone into this medical thriller, which has been inspired from several real-life stories.
A PR piece even had parallels to the Sunanda Pushkar case. Alas, this tale is not any extensive researched tale, but a remake of the critically acclaimed Spanish horror-thriller El Cuerop (The Body). That said, the film is engaging and makes for a good watch. The film is a tale that is narrated through one night, with references to many tales prior to that. This non-linear narrative holds the viewer gripped. The protagonist, an investigative officer, is following the case of a rich heiress, who was allegedly murdered and whose body is missing from the morgue. The suspect, her husband who’s younger than her, has his own motives and lies that keep him on the run. Where did the body really go?
The film has some good performances. Arjun and Shaam, both Bengaluru boys but doing Tamil films, are apt for their roles. Manisha is convincing as the rich prankster heiress, while Aqsa Bhatt suits her role. What doesn’t work is the fact that the filmmaker has tried to ‘Indianize’ this Spanish thriller with the predictable song-and-dance routines added between the highly volatile narrative. Maybe he should have taken a cue from other legitimate remakes of foreign thrillers like Thoongavanam, which worked without the songs. The other irritating bit is the voice used for Manisha Koirala, it doesn’t suit her, given how familiar people are to her voice in other language films. What works for the film is the cinematography and the background score. While there are a few shortcomings, this medical thriller is well worth that outing, because of the plot and the performances. One just wishes the makers were honest about their borrowed subject.
Directed by A. M. R. Ramesh
Produced by Deshraj Rai, A. M. R. Ramesh & Roopa Deshraj
Written by A. M. R. Ramesh
Starring Arjun, Shaam, Manisha Koirala, Aqsa Bhatt
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Edited by K. V. Krishna Reddy
Production Akshaya Creations
Release dates February 26, 2016 (Kannada version)
July 1, 2016 (Tamil version)
Language Tamil / Kannada