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Balloon Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Wednesday, July 15, 2020 • తెలుగు ]
Balloon Review
Cast:
Jai , Anjali
Direction:
S . Senish

'Balloon', a horror-comedy, has hit the OTT zone.  Dubbed from Tamil, here is our review of the film.

Story:

Kittu (Jai), an aspiring filmmaker, sets out to Ooty with his wife Jacqueline (Anjali) in search of an inspiring horror story.  He knows well that the place where they are going to stay with Pappu, their nephew, is haunted.  A series of strange incidents take place in the house and very soon, Pappu is possessed by the mystery ghost.

This is when Kittu embarks on an investigative path.  How does he discover the identity of the ghost?  What does the ghost want?  Answers to these questions are found mainly in the second half.

Analysis:

Directed by Sinish, the Tamil original hit the screens in 2017.  And the dubbed version, currently streaming on ZEE5 and released on July 10, suffers from all the inadequacies that the monitor throws up.  For example, you will never know whether Yuvan Shankar Raja's music is really worth all the accolades it received when the Tamil original hit the theatres.  It appears that sound designers Sachin Sudhakaran and Hariharan of Sync Cinemas did some earnest work, but one doesn't get to enjoy it in its fullness.  Cinematographer R Saravanan shows some sparks but that's all one can say about his work.  

Jai, whose 2011 road film 'Journey' was a big hit in Telugu, delivers goods in a balloon seller's character.  In contrast, as the aspiring filmmaker Kittu, he looks quite dull and lacking in dynamism.  For that matter, even Anjali's performance is infirm and lacks gravitas.  Nagineedu would have held ground had he dubbed for himself.  

The male protagonist's friends, played by Yogi Babu and Karthik Yogi, are comprehensively unfunny.  Yogi Babu suffers from verbal diarrhea and he never stops spouting lame lines that are blighted by both lack of nativity and unfamiliar dubbing.  

The little nephew of the Jai-Anjali duo fails to evoke sympathy even when he is possessed.  There is no hint of torment in the way the 'spooky' scenes are executed.  Bonding between the boy and the elders is almost non-existent.

If the exorcism is vapid, the ways of the revenge-seeking ghost are LOl-esque.  Ironically, this film was admittedly inspired by the likes of 'The Conjuring' and 'Poltergeist'.  

The second half peters away into mediocrity and a very weak flashback.  The film tries to be a comedy, a horror, a reincarnation and a revenge story all at the same time without adequately investing in any of the elements.  If Jai's demeanour looks lazy at times, his two sidekicks keep joking around.  It's hard for the audience to get sucked into the drama (which 'Balloon' lacks anyways) when characters compulsively crack jokes even when faced with an existential crisis.  

Gone are the days when lights blinking on their own in the middle of the night used to spook the audience.  Take a break and start coming up with some stuff that befits the average age of today's audience.  

Verdict:

In 'Balloon', the characters try to be funny and chilling inducing neither laughter nor scares.  At 133 minutes, this is one overlong film that takes the viewer for a ride.  Given that the script-writers have invested all their energies in coming up with insult comedy targeting Yogi Babu, this genre of this film has to be the Let Us Body-Shame Yogi Babu genre. 

Rating: 2 / 5.0

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