We have had so many films in psychotic thriller genre in the past including some classics. So what’s new in 18 Vayasu is that the protagonist has this strange psychological disorder which makes him behave like any animal which he comes across!
Karthik(Johnny) has a not-so-happy childhood as his mother an educated good looking lady (Yuvarani) treats her husband with contempt and is two-timing him. The little boy is very attached to his father, who commits suicide. The premise is rightly set as the boy grows to be a difficult youngster who has stammering and a peculiar body language. He is taken by a friend to a psychiatrist Dr Suchitra (Rohini) who understands his problem and tries to convey it to the mother who is just not interested!
Karthik meets this girl Gayathri (Gayathri) a helpless orphan girl and develops a soft corner for her. But soon he brutally kills his mother and her lover imagining himself to be a tiger and is now on the run. Karthik meets another mentally challenged guy Jocky (Sathyedra) and they join hands to kidnap Gayathi who is now scared of her good friend.
To be fair, some bits do thrill and it’s a novel idea, to bring in the animal angle no doubt but to be honest the clever handling of the subject is missing and the film ends up so convoluted and boring. It's film's lethargic pace and too many songs at regular intervals that do the most damage here.
Out of the cast, Johnny who made his debut with Renigunda, tries hard and has given his best to make his character believable. His mannerisms of a dog, bat, bull, tiger, cat or snake when he is emotionally disturbed, is convincing. New girl Gaythri is impressive while Rohini as psychiatrist is wasted. Satyendra as Jocky is a bit over-the-top and is not funny all the time. JS as the cop is good. Music by Dinesh-Charles Bosco is average.