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'Bhaagamathie' Review: Captivating Thriller

'Bhaagamathie' Review: Captivating Thriller

Movie: Bhaagamathie
Rating: 3/5
Banner:
UV Creations
Cast: Anushka, Unni Mukundan Jayaraj, Asha Sharath, Dhanraj, Murali Sharma and others
Music: S S Thaman
Cinematography: Madhi 
Editing: Kotagiri Venkateshwara Rao
Art: Raveendar S
Producers: Vamsi - Pramod
Written and direction: Ashok G
Release date: Jan 26, 2018

“Bhaagamathie” is one of the most awaited movies. It created huge hype thanks to the stunning first look and teaser. Anushka is known for pulling off such roles as she had done in films like “Arundhati”.

As Tollywood industry is looking for a big hit this year, trade and audiences are betting high on this. Let’s find out whether this film has delivered the promise.

Story:
Chanchala (Anushka), an IAS officer serving sentence on the charges of murder, is sent to an old bungalow called Bhaagamathie, which is located in a thick forest. Meanwhile a CBI officer (Asha Sharath) is interrogating Chanchala. 

The CBI officer wants to get some evidence against Minister Eeshwara Prasad (Jayaram). Since Chanchala was personal secretary to the minister, she is being interrogated.

Once Chanchala lands in the bungalow, she gets possessed by the queen Bhaagamathie, who died long back.

The police officers don’t believe her first thinking that she must be creating drama to get out from here. After some incidents, they start believing that she is possessed by the spirit. Twist in the tale comes a bit later.

Why has Chanchala created this whole setup is revealed in later portions. 

Artistes’ Performances:
The surprising factor of the movie is that Anushka has played two different shades of the same character – Chanchala and Bhaagamathie.

In the getup of Bhaagamathie, Anushka steals the show. This ranks one of her best performances though there is hardly any new angle.

The film largely has Malayalam actors in the cast. Unni Mukundan as Anushka’s partner is okay. Senior Malayalam actor Jayaram as the main villain is perfect.

Murali Sharma and Dhanraj are good. Asha Sharath as CBI officer is excellent.

Technical Excellence:
The film is said to have been shot in 4K resolution by cinematographer Madhie. It has lavish and bright visuals aided by splendid production design by Raveendar.

The Bhaagamathie bungalow set is so real. Apart from Madhie’s camera work and art work, it is Thaman’s background score that is a major asset. He has elevated the movie at many places.

VFX work is neat. The production values are first rate.

Highlights:
Anushka
Technical Work
Interval Bang
Second Half

Drawback:
Weak climax
Many loopholes

Analysis:
Anushka's tryst with stardom began with horror thriller "Arundhati". Her latest film "Bhaagamathie" begins on the same lines with horror elements, the appearance of spirit, etc. However, G Ashok's "Bhaagamathie" is not a horror drama, nor is it a re-incarnation story like “Arundhati”.

It is more of a revenge drama with the setup that we had seen in films like “Pizza". Many Hollywood movies have come in similar pattern, but what director Ashok has created here is an arrangement for Telugu audience.

A politician trying to get huge amounts from a project, an IAS officer getting involved in the issue without her knowledge and mining mafia... all these are familiar incidents known to Telugu people. The director has merged contemporary issues using coat of horror elements.

The interval bang is terrific as Anushka appears in the garb of Bhaagamathie and mouths the dialogue – “Idi Bhaagamathie adda... anni lekkalu telusta”. From there the movie progresses swiftly revealing many twists. Some twists and turns can be expected easily; some are not so easy to guess.

The final sequence when Chanchala meets the real villain in prison is the best scene. That is a big twist.

The basic plot of the movie is typical revenge drama – a girl taking revenge on the guys who implicated her in a murder. But director G Ashok has used horror elements and royal setup to cash in on the image of Anushka who is known for such movies.

The scary moments that the director has relied upon are outrightly boring. Much of the movie is passive, only after Bhaagamathie’s role gets introduced does it turn a bit interesting.

More than the story and screenplay, it is the superior technical output from music director Thaman, cinematographer Madhie and production designer Raveendar that has worked out well.

On the downside, the film lacks logic and has many loopholes. Direction also lacks effectiveness.

Overall, “Bhaagamathie” works for some of its interesting moments, good technical values and terrific production values. It has some commercial elements that can appeal to larger audiences.

Bottom-line: Bommali to Bhaagamathie

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