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Lift Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, October 1, 2021 • தமிழ் ]
Lift Review
Vineeth Varaprasad
Kavin, Amritha Aiyer
Vineeth Varaprasad
Britto Michael

Lift - Terrifically crafted horror that works on multiple levels

The horror genre is more or less saturated in Tamil cinema and on top of that the dime a dozen horror comedies have all but diluted its appeal amongst the audiences.  Here comes 'Lift' a pure horror that could well be a game-changer for both the film industry as well as the viewers.

The storyline of 'Lift' is very simple and involves Guru (Kavin) an IT worker who relocates from Bengaluru to Chennai to join a new company as a team leader.   The HR of the company turns out to Harini (Amrutha Aiyer) with whom he has a past encounter in Mumbai.  One night he stays back in his ninth-floor office alone due to a project when paranormal activities occur especially in the lift when he tries to escape. Harini too gets involved and the duo faces terrifying moments that culminate to a chilling climax.

Kavin has delivered a riveting performance as the boy next door who is trapped in the blood-curdling situation.  The success of the film depends on the audience rooting for him and he has achieved that brilliantly with his charm in the initial scenes, cowering when faced with the terror and finally when outwitting the entity.  Amritha Aiyer also has almost equal scope in the screenplay and grabs it with both hands to make a solid impact.  She is also very effective when she turns hideous in a couple of scenes.   Lesser-known actor Kathir who appears in a pivotal character at the very end deserves a pat on his back for authentic portrayal of a wronged employee.   Balaji Venugopal shines in a ruthless character while Temple Monkeys Abdul is a scream as the senior IT employee.

Thanks to excellent writing 'Lift' works on multiple levels right from the characterizations, setting up the plot, attention to details, to a very convincing backstory, and conclusion.  A majority of the first half effectively has only one character and still is highly engaging.  The second half unfolds like a roller coaster of horror situations that is totally edge-of-the-seat fare.  The icing on the cake is that all this is achieved by showing not even five percent of the ghost.  The core theme of the film is about the turbulent and uncertain lives that IT professionals lead due to the exploitation of corporates.  It is dealt with honesty and authenticity in the screenplay.

On the downside, the lead pair's past relationship is too convenient and their current equation is also not very clear.  A drug angle is thrown into the mix that spirals the screenplay in an altogether different direction, which is a positive or a negative depending on how you take it.  But a question lingers if that really is the best choice to deal with the ghost considering the emotional impact the climax gives.

Technically 'Lift' is one of the finest films in recent times with many heroes in the crew all working in tandem.  S. Yuva's eerie angled camera moments with ever-changing lighting would have surely been a big challenge but the viewer is rewarded with tense frames that are breathtaking throughout.  Tapas Nayak is behind the spine-chilling sound design while Michael Britto's background score resonates the chills and Madan Ganesh is relentless in alternating between slow and fast cuts.  Ekaa Entertainment has produced the film with no compromises in the required ambiance.  It is unfortunate that this film which would have surely appealed to theater audiences and best enjoyed on the big screen has to go straight to OTT (Disney Plus Hotstar).

Debutante Vineeth Varaprasad has shown great command over the writing and execution of this terrifically crafted horror film.  His work is even more laudable as it succeeds as a wake-up call to the dear and near ones of the victims of corporate greed and may well send chills down the spines of their exploiters too.

Verdict: Go for this spine-chiller that is not only highly engaging but also thought-provoking

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0


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