'Lanka', a scientific-thriller starring yesteryear actress Raasi, hits the screens today. Here is our review.
Swathi (Ina Saaha) is a Malayalam actress who is in Hyderabad to shoot for a movie. Despite being a celebrity, she has apparently been in danger from someone. Additionally, she has nightmarish experiences when she is alone.
A youngster (played by Sai Ronak), a short-filmmaker, bumps into her in a shopping mall and starts falling after her to cajole her into acting in his short film. She eventually gives her nod.
The duo, along with the short film's hero (played by comedian Sathya) and the cinematographer, move to a desolate bungalow inhabited by a lonely woman named Rebecca Williams (Raasi). Once in the house, Swathi and the rest have to face Rebecca's puzzling behaviour, complete with a touch of telepathic science. A few days later, Swathi goes missing.
The rest of the film is about what happened to Swathi, why Rebecca is behaving strangely, and more.
Director Sri Muni tells the scientific-crime-thriller 'Lanka' in a complex manner. That's the biggest demerit of an otherwise okayish product.
There are elements that were never needed to be there in the first place. Where there is no compelling reason for them to exist, they shouldn't have been there. Where they were there to add something, a better, straightforward idea could have been tried. Mixing of genres just doesn't work, at least for most audiences.
To give a few examples: the heroine suffers from Monophobia, besides facing a threat to her life. The monophobic element lingers on for too long without adding much to what unfolds in the course of the second half. Then there is the element of Rebecca talking in a high-brow fashion. Of course, the dialogues not being straightforward is not wrong, but there should be a rationale provided in the form of the character's sketch at the end of the day. When she narrates a flashback to cops, this reviewer wanted to do a Venkatesh from 'Nuvvu Naku Nacchav': Konchem Telugu lo cheppandi...
If the language is knotty, the screenplay goes about introducing new elements whose answers are not revealed on the pretext that it's supposed to be a thriller!
For a film made on a not-so-high budget, 'Lanka' is definitely praiseworthy as far as the performances and technical elements go. If Raasi and Inaa are balanced, Sathya and Sudarshan are good, Supreeth and Leena Siddhu are over-the-top. Supreeth as a cop investigating into Swathi's suspected death goes overboard for no reason. Sathyam Rajesh too is wasted in these portions.
Sricharan Pakala's BGM passes muster. V Ravi Kumar's cinematography and Hari Varma's art direction deserve applause.
A complicated thriller that could have been simple and effective. Technical output gets distinction, the performances 60 per cent. What starts off fairly well fizzles out later.