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'Karma' Review: Kali Vs Kalki

'Karma' Review: Kali Vs Kalki

Film: Karma
Banners:
THOUSAND LIGHTS/TELUGU AMERICA
Cast: Adivi Sesh, Jade Taylor, Sher Ali
Music: Pete Wonder, Leland Tunis, R Durban
Cinematography: James Laxton
Story, Screenplay, Direction: Adivi Sesh
Producers: Adivi Bhavani, Harsh Singh, Sher Ali
Release Date: 26/11/2010

Sai Kiran Adivi is known for his ‘Vinayakudu’ series and now it is the time to welcome his brother Sesh Adivi. On a contrast, he has arrived with a thriller with supernatural elements.

Story:
Padma (Jade) is an Indian girl born and raised in the US and during childhood she sees the murder of her father which shakes her faith in god. Years pass by and even her mother passes away. While she lives the life of loneliness and fear, a turn takes place as she comes across Dev (Sesh).

He is new to the US and comes from a place remotely known in India. Dev’s mother leaves him with Padma and goes to New York. It is here that Padma begins to experience few unbelievable things being done by Dev which questions her very faith. On the other hand, a devil cult is spreading its tentacles and it is out to create mayhem and unrest in the world.

Who is Dev? What is his identity? What happens to Padma’s strong beliefs? All this forms the rest of the story.

Performances:
Adivi Sesh is strikingly handsome and he has a good screen presence. He does justice to his role and has a positive body language. His facets as an actor in commercial or the mainstream cinema would be the real litmus test though.

Jade Taylor looks beautiful and though she is a foreigner, she manages to get some Indian looks in few scenes. Performance wise, she has the right kind of expressions and looks appealing in few scenes. Perhaps two or more films and that will make her flexible in her body language.

Sher Ali was alright, though his role was subdued, he manages to make his presence felt whenever required.

The others did their bit as required and added value to the film.

Highlights:
Last 20 minutes content
Graphics in final Kalki Avatar scene
Cinematography

Lapses:
Audience cannot connect to not so ubiquitous Cannibalism shown in this movie
Content appeals only for multiplex and well read audiences but not for general crowds

Analysis:
This is not a masala film, nor is it a comedy film, it cannot be called an art-house film either. The best way to label it would be a cult film. While we have directors like Ram Gopal Varma, Quentin Tarantino, Igor Tchaikovsky questioning the faith of entities and their existence, here is Adivi Sesh who seems to have strong convictions about the Hindu dharma and the puranas. The concept of the Kalki avatar and the advent of the Kali Yugam have been depicted well with subtle analogies and few symbolisms. While it might go a little overhead to the common audience or to those who are not very serious about the Hindu Dharma and culture, to those who can connect to the law of Karma and the very essence of our religion, this sure is a handy treat.

The film is made with excellent technical values and the locations, cinematography, visual effects, sound effects are masterly. On the flip side, the pace of the movie is quite slow sometimes taking away the energy of the moment. On the other hand, few symbolisms such as the depiction of devil faces may not appeal to the regular audience.

The film maker has shown that he has good potential in his execution and a strong team of technicians. As far as concepts go, he seems to be taking the offbeat and cult genre which is what the Tollywood industry needs right now. The Telugu circuit is starving of good stories and fresh thoughts and if this film is promoted well and is given strong visibility, the chances are that it could become a trendsetter irrespective of the genre.

It is purely for the bold attempt by speaking about a concept and the high quality of technical standards followed in the execution.

Bottom-line: Well crafted and honest attempt, it’s based on Bhavishya Purana.

(SiraSri can be reached at sirasri@gmail.com)

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