Vijay Kumar Rajendran tried to deliver a thriller in his latest release. But, as it turned out, “D Block” failed in almost every aspect. From the beginning until the end, the writing is so poor that the audience will question everything that has been shown. When you see a poster that gives you the feeling of a thriller, you expect it to live up to the expectations. But, when I started watching the film, the disappointment began after the first 5 minutes or so. The casting is very poor; even the whole set-up looks very dull. In a good thriller, the comic relief sometimes makes the audience feel comfortable. But, here in Vijay Kumar Rajendran’s “D Block,” the comic timings seemed very forced and boring. If we talk about the film’s antagonist, the makers made the character look like a joker.
What Happens In ‘D Block’? Was It A Good Thriller?
The film starts with an intense shot of a girl whose hands and legs are tied when someone suddenly attacks her from the back. Then we saw three students, and they were all headed for AKR Engineering College. The college is situated in the dense forests of Velliangiri Hills in Coimbatore. There are some rules in the college so that the students stay safe from the forest animals. Some past incidents suggest that there is a leopard on the loose who attacked some girls from the girls’ hostel. Nobody cared much about those incidents in the beginning, but soon one of the girls named Swathi (Janani Durga) went missing. A student found her body the following day, and from the marks on her face, it looked like a leopard had attacked her.
Ahead of these events, we were introduced to the protagonist of the story, Arul (Arulnithi), and his lover, Shruti (Avantika Mishra). Earlier, Swathi told Shruti about a figure she had seen, but they ignored it. That exact figure kidnapped Swathi on the night of her disappearance. Somehow, Shruti felt guilty about that and wanted to stop this from happening again. After Swathi’s death, a senior student named Maya met with Arul and his friends. She showed them a drawing that was exactly like one of her friends (Purnima), who was dead four years ago, just like Swathi. Later, Arul, along with his friends, went to surprise Shruti on her birthday, and they too saw the figure on the roof of the girls’ hostel, which was seen and drawn by Swathi. Arul was eager to solve this, so he stole the register book from the principal’s office. There they found about 12 other girls who had gone missing from the hostel. One of them was the college watchman’s daughter, Manimegalai.
Arul went to visit Manimegalai’s father, and he found her in chains, mentally unstable. Her father then told them about the exact figure that attacked Manimegalai, and when she told the principal about that, he said that she was making up stories. Despite telling the truth, everyone thought she was lying, and it was an unbearable situation for Manimegalai that made her mentally disturbed. While returning to college, Arul said the killer might be targeting the women who perform Bharatanatyam. He discovered that his hunch was not entirely wrong. Later that day, Maya, Arul, and their friends went to the forest in search of any clues to track the killer. Maya, too, was killed by the killer that night.
The Fritter shop owner from the college finally shed some light on the killings. He told Arul that some shocking events happened when the “D Block” was under construction. A worker named Kaali (Charandeep) was caught red-handed while peeking through the lady’s washroom. Kaali was beaten and brought to the police station. The inspector told them a vicious story about his past. He targeted the women with long hair as he had this fetish for women’s hair clusters since childhood. He even killed girls back in his childhood days. Kaali somehow escaped from jail and was now killing women. He finally kidnapped Shruti, and Arul successfully rescued her from Kaali’s house in the jungle. Kaali came to the hostel to get Shruti, and his doomsday came.
Why Did No One Inquire About The Killings Before?
The engineering college was constructed by encroaching on the forest. It was not a legal construction, and the owner of the college was trying to bribe the ministers to get the land registered. So, if the information about the killings went out, his chances of getting the registration would have dwindled. The college authorities charged 4 to 8 lakhs per seat as a donation fee. If the news of the killings were leaked and the college was sealed, it would be a massive loss for the facility’s owner. So, the principal was told to handle the situation as he pleased, to avoid any consequences that may have ended up sealing the whole college. This was one of the reasons why the principal said Manimegalai was telling a lie. He said that she was trying to elope with someone else, and when things didn’t go as she planned, she was now harassing the college authorities. However, he knew that she might be telling the truth, but it was an order from the top, so he could not help but call her a liar. This did not end well as Manimegalai thought she was being called characterless, which made her mentally ill.
Why Did Arul Mistake Kaali’s Motive At First? What Was The Mistake?
While returning to college from Manimegalai’s house, Arul saw a teenage girl dressed up to perform Bharatanatyam. This instantly intrigued him into thinking that the killer must have a motive that connects all the victims. As he was already interested in crime and psychological novels, he felt this was a type of serial killing; he knew that the killer must be driven by something that was common among all his victims. So, he researched the victims and found that most of them danced in the cultural event. Even when he asked about Purnima to Maya, she said that apart from drawing, she used to perform Bharatanatyam. This made Arul’s intuition stronger than ever; he thought he had found the pattern. Right after Maya’s death, Shruti told him about a girl (Anisha) who saw the figure in the drawing. She, too, practiced dancing, so Arul thought that she was going to be Kaali’s next victim.
But, the cook had already told Arul about Kaali’s fetish of collecting women’s hair clusters. So, when he saw Anisha removing her wig, he knew he had made a mistake. It was never about Bharatanatyam, but every victim used to have long hair. Kaali would find his psychological gratification in the hair clusters. So, when Arul asked Anisha whether Kaali saw her or not, she said that he was looking at Shruti’s room. Shruti, too, had long hair, and Kaali targeted her as his next victim. When Arul realized his mistake, he got a call from Shruti’s roommate, Ria (Shweta Venugopal), who told him that Kaali had already kidnapped Shruti.
Is ‘D Block’ Based On A True Story? What Was The Name Of The Victim In The Beginning?
At the film’s beginning, it says, “Based on True Events.” Some reports suggest that the director was inspired by the stories of his sister that took place at her college. He even said that his sister had felt some of the supernatural activities in her hostel. Whatever it may be, no supernatural elements are shown in the film. Although, there were some thrilling moments in it. However, some horror elements were dragged upon during some sequences, but the jump scares did not help the story as a whole. We won’t be arguing about whether it was a true story or an inspired one, but we can assure you of one thing: it was not a good story. A good thriller would at least have some intensity, adventure, or suspense. “D Block” had everything in it, but they all somehow overlapped each other and made it a complete mess. The victim in the first scene is probably Purnima, a friend of Maya’s, who was murdered by Kaali four years ago.
‘D Block’ Ending Explained: Why Was Kaali So Powerful? How Was He Beaten? Was His Gratification Well Established For A Killer?
When Arul and every other boy in the hostel tried hard to stop Kaali from killing Shruti, the other girls were hiding. Kaali was beating everyone, and he was almost unstoppable. One of the primary sources of his immense strength could be his way of living. He spent most of his life as a construction site worker and later spent years in the jungle. He even petted a monitor lizard that could somehow communicate with him. When he was facing college students, it was not at all challenging for him. But, seeing Arul beaten to death in trying to save Shruti, the other girls came out to help. They grabbed Kaali’s hands, and finally, Arul made him fall to the ground. The girls started kicking him, and Ria delivered the final blow. Right before his death, Kaali saw his victims in a flashback. Apart from everything, even the psychological gratification failed to spark. It came out well with the childhood story of Kaali, but there was no clue why he took the attire. He used to cover himself with crude oil (probably), which was understandable. It helped him to escape in case he was caught by someone, as his skin became slippery. But, what was with the black dhoti? I have no clue.
“D Block” failed in multiple aspects. The music is too dull; the camera angles are poor; there is no story, or horror or thriller. Why was the gate to the roof open that night when Swathi was kidnapped? Was there an inside person who let Kaali into the hostel through the roof? Many more questions went unanswered in the story. If you can’t establish a thriller, establish a vibrant character that can lead your story. The whole cast is so immature that it becomes incorrigible at times. Arulnithi’s performance is disappointing. Charandeep too, could have done so many things with the character he was given, but all he did was growl and show his muscles. If there is anyone who tried some acting, it was Janani Durga, playing the role of Swathi. Apart from that, no other performance is able to impact you in any manner.
“D Block” is a psychological thriller streaming on Amazon Prime Video with subtitles.