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'Chandrakala' Review: No Horror, No Comedy

'Chandrakala' Review: No Horror, No Comedy

Movie: Chandrakala
Rating: 2/5
Banner:
Sri Shuba Swetha Films
Cast: Hansika, Andria, Sunder, Santanam and Others
Music: Bhardwaj
Editor: Srikanth
Cinematography: Sendhil Kumar
Producers: Swetha, Varun, Teja, C V Rao
Story, Direction: Sunder C
Release Date: Dec 19th, 2014

A movie is promoted as the dubbed version of a huge Tamil hit Aranmanai and it has one of south India's leading actresses Hansika in the lead. Also, it is said to belong to the horror comedy genre. Isn’t that reason enough for audiences to consider watching the film? Well, let’s see if the film is indeed worth a watch…

Story:
Like almost all horror films, the film begins in a village and in a huge palatial house that has been shut down for five years. Suddenly, the family that owns the house comes down to sell off the property for good. But once they settle in a couple of nights before registration, strange things keep happening around the house. Maya (Lakshmi Rai), Madhavi (Andrea Jeremiah) wife of the heir Murali (Vinay Rai) see strange creatures inside the house. There is a little girl who talks to air. Meanwhile, Balram (Santhanam) and his gang join the owners hoping to get a share of the property. In comes Ravi (Sundar C), a lawyer, to help his sister Madhavi. But once in the house, he sees something that totally shakes him. So, is the house really haunted? If so, by whom and why? This forms the crux of the story.

Artistes’ Performances:
Hansika gets to play the title role. She plays the village belle Chandrakala who is in love with Murali. Well, the role is no big deal for her as she does not nothing much to do than look pretty. And that she pulls off rather easily. However, barring the fact that she gets to do a horror film to add to her film list, one is left wondering why she said yes to a small film like this in the first place.

Andrea Jeremiah plays Madhavi, the other important character in the film. Like in Chandramukhi, she is the pivot around which the film revolves. And she does manage a decent performance. Looks like Hansika refused to play the supernatural part, so Andrea ends up getting a meatier role than the other two ladies. She even gets to do some skin show.

Lakshmi Rai has nothing much to do barring skin show and plays second fiddle to the other two leading ladies.

Sundar C tries to do a Rajinikanth of sorts from Chandramukhi. But his directorial venture does not give him enough scope and he manages a fairly adequate performance.

Vinay Rai as Murali is again a supporting role who has very little to do.

Santhanam gets a lot of screen space given that he is a leading comedian in Tamil and the fact that the film calls itself a horror comedy.

Kovai Sarala is seen after a long time, but that would suffice.

Technical Excellence:
Music is nothing much to write about. Since it is a dubbing film, you will barely remember the songs once they are over. The background music is not spooky enough for a horror film. But again, since it is a horror comedy, maybe you should not expect much. Cinematography is okay, again nothing out of the world.

Sundar C, who is Khushboo’s husband, is a known director in Tamil. With Chandrakala, he tries the horror comedy genre. He also acts in the film. Though audiences like horror comedies these days, Sundar’s film neither falls into horror genre nor into horror comedy genre like Geetanjali. It gets stuck somewhere in between and hopes Sundar put in more effort to fit into one particular slot.

Highlights:

  • Hansika
  • Andrea Jeremiah

Drawbacks:

  • Stale story
  • Tamil style comedy

Analysis:
One of the main selling cards for the film happens to be the fact that it was a hit in Tamil. Titled Aranmanai, the film was said to be part of a double bonanza for Hansika, who also had a hit in Power in Telugu.

Well, that apart, for the Telugu audiences, the film is a huge disappointment. For starters, the story’s framework is similar to that of Chandramukhi.

Only here, instead of a psychologist, you have a lawyer trying to solve the mystery. The story is reminiscent of many films that are from the ’80s both in terms of its story and in terms of narration.

Another main drawback is the comedy track which is so typical of a Tamil film. But the Telugu audiences may not find that style of comedy very appealing.

Sundar who tries his hand at this genre for the first time fills his film with a lot of clichéd elements from horror films. Nevertheless, it is a film that can be labeled as unintentional comedy thanks to the many predictable scenes. In fact, the film has absolutely no surprises whatsoever.

Surely, Hansika is a trump card for the viewers as it would get many curious. But that might work for the opening shows. After that, the film may not suit the sense and sensibilities of Telugu audiences who are now craving to see something different every Friday.

Bottomline: Predictable

(Venkat can be reached venkat@greatandhra.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)  

Click here for Telugu review

Video: Watch Chandrakala Movie Public Talk

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