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'Gaganam' Review: Wonderful Experiment

'Gaganam' Review: Wonderful Experiment

Film: Gaganam
Rating: 3.25/5
Matinee Entertainment
Cast: Nagarjuna, Prakashraj, Brahmanandam, Poonam Kaur, Sana Khan, Thalaivasal Vijay, Prudhvi, Bharath Reddy, Ravikanth etc
Dialogues: Umarji Anuradha
Camera: K V Guhan
Story, screenplay, direction: Radha Mohan
Producer: Dil Raju

Lately, Nagarjuna has been trying to experiment with his image and ‘Gaganam’ falls into that bracket. This is released in Tamil as well with the title ‘Payanam’ and it brings back director Radha Mohan of ‘Akasamantha’ fame. Let us see how this bilingual is..
A flight which takes off from Chennai is hijacked by terrorists and they want to take it to Rawalpindi.

However, an engine failure forces them to land the aircraft in Tirupathi. The defense ministry gets alerted and in comes home secretary Vishwanath (Prakashraj) to know the demands of the hijackers.

He goes with a team to Tirupathi and keeping in mind, the need for a military operation at any instant, Major Ravindra (Nagarjuna) arrives to Tirupathi airport with his team of commandos. The demand is for the release of dreaded terrorist Yousuf Khan or else the hundred passengers in aircraft will be killed.

Just when the government gives up and decides to release Yousuf Khan, an interesting twist takes place. What happens from there forms the rest of the story.
Nagarjuna has given a balanced performance and doesn’t cross the line anywhere. He fits the bill with his well maintained physique.

Prakashraj makes his presence felt though it is a brief and important role. He showed the right kind of emotions during critical scenes.

Bharath Reddy fits the role perfectly as Nag’s assistant.

Poonam Kaur was okay, the track between the doctor and Sana Khan was annoying. Thalaivasal Vijay was impressive as usual. Prithvi was not upto the mark but his character was etched well. Brahmi failed to impress this time. The rest of them did their bit as required.

The dialogues written by Umerjee Anuradha (Ye Maya Chesaave fame) are sounding as if dubbed directly from Tamil. The nativity is missing in that. 90% of the film runs inside the flight and a conference hall in airport. Yet, no monotony was experienced with the effective cinematography of KV Guhan. Especially the tension was effectively built up with steady cameras and lighting schemes.

Praveen Mani's background score stands as a plus point in the film. A few lags were observed in editing here and there. There could have been a 10 minute cut to make the film compact. Although it's an experiment the production values are on par with regular commercial cinema.
Background Score
Thrill elements
Subtle humor
Jerks in editing
Nagarjuna made several experiments in his 25 year film career. He gave opportunities to new directors and made block busters like Shiva. He also acted in devotional films when many opined that devotional genre has gone obsolete on Tollywood screen. His Annamayya and Sree Rama Dasu have become super hits that way. It is really a stunning thing to know that a film where a big hero is playing the lead carries no songs and fights. But still this film engages the audiences efficiently for 2 hours.
Radha Mohan needs a definite mention here, He dealt with soft stories like Akasamantha earlier and now he came up with this thriller. But still he has shown his caliber. He is successful because he dealt with the subject efficiently without any diversions.

Despite a serious movie, the entertainment quotient is not missed. Intelligently he grooved in a film hero and his fan in the flight to bring in humor. Similarly at the end the way the director used a junior artiste for a military operation also sounds interesting.

No logical errors can be seen in this film. But a few scenes between Sana Khan and the doctor didn’t fit into the story. The moods and emotions of the passengers those were hijacked weren’t captured effectively.

Although first half goes little dull, he took enough care in second half by making it thrilling and captivating. Although it is predictable that it will be a happy ending, the director proved successful in bringing in tension with his screenplay.
The film may lose a few mass masala audience but it clicks really well with the A center audiences. It has to be seen how it fares at box office. If that wonder works out, then we can state that ‘Gaganam’ sets a new trend in Tollywood history.
Bottom-Line: Watch it

(Venkat can be reached at

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