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Cast: Nikhil Siddharth, Swati Reddy, Tanikella Bharani, Rao Ramesh and Others
Music: Sekhar Chandra
Cinematography: Karthik Ghattamaneni
Editor: K. Srinivas
Producer: Venkat Srinivas
Story, Dialogues, Screeplay and Direction: Chandoo Mondeti
Release Date: October 24, 2014
Last year, Nikhil and Swati gave the surprise hit Swamy Ra Ra. This year, they are paired once again in the direction of debutant Chandoo Mondeti. Let’s check out how this much delayed film has shaped up…
The film starts off in Subramanyapuram with the death of an officer of the endowments departments played by Raja Ravindra in a guest role due to snake bite. The story tells us that he is in the temple town to solve a mystery surrounding the temple and gets killed in the process. Then the scene shifts to a medical college. Well, no prizes for guessing this one. But the hero Karthik (Nikhil) is a medico here. One day, he meets his fellow student Valli (Colours Swati) who is a BDS student. It’s love at first sight for Karthik and he makes no bones about telling it to Valli. Meanwhile, the medical college students are sent on a field trip and Karthik is sent to Subramanyapuram by his professor as he wants to get rid of the ever curious and inquisitive Karthik.
Once in Subramanyapuram, Karthik gets to know of the story and the mysterious deaths of people and decides to figure out the truth behind the rumours. Are there any supernatural elements or is it humans playing mischief? The rest of the film shows how Karthik solves the mystery.
Nikhil is pretty convincing as the medical college student who believes in facts rather than superstitions and blind beliefs. He acts with ease and plays his part well. He is once again paired with Colours Swati and they make a watchable pair.
Swati fits her role perfectly and plays it convincingly. She has put on a few extra kilos, but that does not take away her natural exuberance.
Rao Ramesh as Endowments Commissioner, Jogi Naidu as Tayathu, Tanikella Bharani, Tulasi and others put in decent performances.
The film has music by Sekhar Chandra which is apt for a thriller. The director stays away from the temptation to include duets between the lead pair and that works for the film. The background score is good too and is not unnecessarily loud.
Cinematography by Karthik Ghattamaneni is good and editing by Srinivas is tight.
Chandoo Mondeti debuts as a director with the film and he shows lots of promise. He handles the script like a pro and makes sure that he maintains the suspense till the climax.
- Few clichés sprinkled here and there
At a time when the audiences are being bombarded with back-to-back mass, masala entertainers, Karthikeya comes as a breath of fresh air.
A thriller, it does not go overboard in trying to scare the audiences with inane episodes concocted specially for the purpose. Instead it tells a simple story in an interesting manner.
Chandoo Mondeti must be given credit for tight screenplay and the way he handles the story without stretching it unnecessarily. Instead he lets the story flow and reach a logical climax and that makes the film worth a watch.
His use of art work to narrate the story of the temple town and the choice of locations needs special mention. He creates the right ambience and mood for the film by choosing a hilly and forest terrain which accentuates the thriller element.
The director touches upon contentious issues like female infanticide, how people are misled in the name of faith and superstitions in the story. But nowhere do we feel that he is out to preach or teach. He beautifully weaves them into the plot just like the love story of the lead pair is woven into the thriller.
Also, the lead pair that has already given a hit film last year suits the story perfectly. They are totally believable as independent minded but socially aware individuals.
The director also introduces the novel concept of animal hypnosis to retain the interest of the audience. But a mysterious temple town, a couple in love and a few mysterious deaths are enough to keep the audiences glued. Chandoo Mondeti has surely come up with a hit formula or so it looks.
Bottomline: Debutant director thrills.
(Venkat can be reached at email@example.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)