An intriguing blend of tenderness and brutality, with a ten-year-old Tamil boy (Jathishweran) tiring of the self-pitying and drunken lifestyle of his barman father (Bosco). Finally shamed into action by his son’s complaints that his prospects of getting a decent education are diminishing, the father returns to his former profession as a magician, sword-swallower and fire-eater, with fatal consequences. If the story has the simplicity of a fable about redemption and forgiveness, that sits a little uneasily with some of the violence, self-inflicted and otherwise, including painful piercings and horrific beatings. But at least the film has a narrative momentum and assurance lacking in Khoo’s previous Be With Me. And the two central characters display considerable charisma.
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