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CBI 5: The Brain Movie Review: A star-studded and mystery-laden treat

Modified On: 08 May 2022 | Reviewed By:

Story-line: CBI 5 The Brain, the fifth chapter in the CBI franchise, directed by K Madhu and written by SN Swami, has all the elements to satisfy a Sethurama Iyer fan, and thriller fans in general.


Director: K. Madhu | Music Director:

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The film is about a series of ‘basket killings’ that perplex investigators and the case  finally transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Officer Sethurama Iyer is on it again and he, too, doesn’t find it an easy puzzle to crack.CBI 5 is definitely a worthy successor to the other movies in the franchise.

Review: SN Swami deserves respect for coming up yet again with a script that keeps the viewers engaged till the end when Malayalam cinema is going deeper into the investigative thriller genre. Also, Mammootty for the fifth time, maintains the charm and calmness needed for the iconic character of Sethurama Iyer.

CBI 5 begins through a flashback with Balagopal (Renji Panicker), a CBI officer narrating the story to a batch of IPS trainees about one of the most baffling cases where even the CBI was clueless at a point. The case starts with the death of a minister named Samad in a flight, which is followed by a series of murders — of people associated with the minister. That’s when Sethurama Iyer is assigned to investigate this high-profile case. There are many diversions, suspects, and subplots that naturally fit into the narrative starting from a terrorist link, to a personal grudge, corrupt police officers, extra marital affair and a criminal who uses cutting edge technology.

As the film orbits around many murders, this is a story that you might lose track of unless you are attentive enough. There are many suspects; their identities and motives and even randomly thrown hook lines of various scenes might make you doubt every other person on the screen. But as they say at the ‘session’ in the film, this is a case that truly challenges the ‘brainy’ Iyer too, so, it’s not one of those reel cases one can probably enjoy binge-watching. Just like the investigators, one, too, should be as involved as new scenarios and suspects emerge. And if you like watching proceedings it is thrilling and entertaining.

The most interesting part of the movie was the reference of assassinations that took place in the Gandhi family. Vikram, played by Jagathy Sreekumar, who was integral in the past CBI movies, was used with conviction, which proved to be another highlight of the feature. It was heartwarming to see Jagathy, the legendary actor of Malayalam cinema who is in a paralyzed state for years now after an unfortunate road accident, was used in the movie at a very crucial juncture with definite purpose.

At the first intermission point, one’s brain can bubble up with a lot of information, analysis and more as the cops are still piecing the puzzles together. In the second half, the film succeeds in keeping us on tenterhooks and intrigued enough, till the crucial clue finally gets dissected by Mr. Iyer.

The character is a piece of cake for Mammootty, whose mannerisms as Iyer is yet again, classy. The much-loved background score of this series, yet again, adds punch to the tale as the investigation team crosses each of their milestones.

There are quite a few scenes in the beginning of the story in which a handful of dead bodies are shown, and the makers aren’t trying much to hide the gruesome nature of the deaths. Heads up for those who can’t digest such scenes easily.

Delightfully star-studded and twisty, the film is a mystery-laden treat to those who love the franchise and the genre. 

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