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Farhana Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, May 12, 2023 • Hindi ]
Farhana Review
Banner:
Dream Warrior Pictures
Cast:
Aishwarya Rajesh, Selvaraghavan, Aishwarya Dutta, Jithan Ramesh, Anumol
Direction:
Nelson Venkatesan
Production:
S R Prakash Babu, S R Prabu
Music:
Justin Prabhakaran

Farhana Review - Engaging cat and mouse thriller in a fresh setting

Nelson Dilipkumar has so far made two diverse films 'Oru Naal Koothu' and 'Monster' that have found favor with the audiences.  For his third film he has joined hands with the ever dependable Aishwarya Rajesh to come up with  a thriller with a muslim girl as the protagonist.  Whether he will score a hat-trick of hits remains to be seen. Now let's get to the Farhana review

Farhana (Aishwarya Rajesh) is a somewhat educated muslim woman living with her husband Karim (Jithan Ramesh), three little children.  Her orthodox father Boots Bhai (Kitty) and sisters and their families also live in the same house.  The family business is totally down and to escape poverty Farhana, against the wishes of her father, takes up a job at a call center and shines in it.  When her child becomes ill and requires an operation Farhana moves to a friendly chat process which pays five times more incentive than her current process. Even though she is initially appalled by the unknown, unseen male customers venting their sexual frustrations on her she copes with it.  A mysterious caller then enters her life and seems to not want anything sexual but just someone to share his views with.  The orthodox woman who never had anyone to share her thoughts finds the conversation refreshing and he also talks for long hours saving her from other lewd men.   However one of the girls is murdered and the mysterious man begins a deadly cat and mouse game with Farhana also threatening to destroy her family life.   What happens next and whether the heroine can escape from the clutches of the apparent psychopath is what the rest of the film is all about.

This is undoubtedly one of Aishwarya Rajesh's career best and she carries the entire film on her shoulders.  She has gotten under the skin of her character so much that right from the opening scene to the climax you only see  'Farhana'.  She starts out as a shy girl gaining confidence as her life changes and that too with changes in costume ruled out she does it just through expressions and body language.  You can easily see the glow on her face as her secret friendship begins to blossom and her voice trembles when she is consumed by guilt when interacting with her husband every time after that.   Jithan Ramesh as the calm husband is a revelation in the film.  His emoting is particularly affecting when he starts sensing his wife drifting apart from him.  Kitty as the wizened old Muslim with orthodox views is excellent.  Anumol and Aishwarya Dutta as the colleagues are aptly cast and the latter also figures in a key turning point in the screenplay.  There is a surprise casting of a big celebrity for the antagonist role who has to rely on his voice for the most parts and is shown only in the climax.

Apart from the terrific cast the film has quite a few pluses with the primary being the Muslim backdrop for the heroine that lends novelty.   The lewdity that men resort to in the guise of friendly chat provides some fun in the first half.  The introduction of the mystery man turns things on its head and the thriller elements take over right till the end.  Farhana using technology to turn the tables on her tormentor provides a high.  The metro train and its tunnels are cleverly used as tools to convey the tumultuous emotions.  There are a few masterful directorial touches like Jithan Ramesh clearing the sink to help Aishu make a decision, the transformer wires flaring up and Farhana crossing her threshold on the train. The scene in which the husband and wife reconcile is poignant.

On the flip side the grip on the screenplay loosens considerably in the second half.  The wimpy husband stalking his wife is not so convincing and ditto with the villain's characterization that leaves doubt in the minds of the audience as to what shade of grey he really is.  A gun to the head approach is warranted for the buildups that the screenplay initially promised.  But what one gets is a stretchy,weak and contrived climax.

Justin Prabhakaran's songs and background score give the impetus throughout to 'Farhana'.  Gokul Benoy employs fervent camera movements to always keep the air pregnant with suspense while VJ Sabu Joseph uses the technique of hiding crucial occurrences and then revealing them to good effect.  Siva Sankar's Art Direction is in its elements in showing Farhana's house and the contrasting surreal effect of the antagonist's ambience.  Dream Warrior Pictures has added yet another cerebral film to its repertoire. Nelson Dilipkumar has surely hit a hattrick as far as versatility in content and making is concerned.  

Verdict : Go for this mostly engaging thriller driven by Aishwarya Rajesh's arresting performance
 

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0

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