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'Keshava' Review: Style Over Substance

'Keshava' Review: Style Over Substance

Movie: Keshava
Rating: 2.75/5
Abhishek Pictures
Cast: Nikhil, Ritu Varma, Isha Koppikar, Brahmaji, Vennela Kishore, Rao Ramesh and others
Dialogues: Krishna Chaitanya
Music: Sunny M R
Cinematography: Divakar Mani
Editor: S R Sekhar
Producers: Abhishek Nama
Story, Screenplay and directed by: Sudheer Varma
Release date: May 19, 2017

The teaming of Nikhil and Sudheer Varma for "Keshava" has been making news as their first movie "Swamy Ra Ra" was a sensational hit. The theatrical trailer won great reviews and created further buzz around it.

The film was released today amidst lot of expectations. Let's find out whether the film has lived up to all the hype.

Keshava (Nikhil), a law student studying in Kakinada, has only one mission in life – to take vengeance of the killing of his parents. He knows that some police officers did this on purpose. He goes to kill them off one by one with meticulous planning.

His classmate Sathya Bhama (Ritu Varma) gets suspicious of his activities and when confronted he tells the whole story.

On the other hand, IPS officer Sharmila Mishra (Isha Koppikar) easily finds that Keshava is behind these killings of police officers but she has no proper evidence against him.

Will he complete the mission as Sharmila has come to know his real motive?

Artistes’ Performances:
As a guy who is out for vengeance, Nikhil has come out with a nice performance. His is believable acting. He has pulled off this role with out uttering many dialogues.

Ritu Varma as his lover gets a supporting character. Bollywood actress Isha Koppikar as a tough investigative officer is good.

Rao Ramesh is at his usual best. Ajay, Brahmaji and Priyadarshi make their presence felt. Vennela Kishore’s comedy offers some good laughs in the college.

Technical Excellence: 
The prime asset of 'Keshava' is stylised camera work by Divakar Mani. This would be ranked as one of the best camera works for a Telugu movie in the recent times. His camera has heightened the tensed mood required for the story.

Though songs (composed by Sunny MR) are not good, the background score by Prasanth Pillai and sound designing is top class. Production values and art work is first rate. Screenplay and editing is racy.

Stylized taking
Terrific cinematography
Background score

Weak second half
Regular plot
Slow narration

With his very first film “Swamy Ra Ra”, director Sudheer Varma has proved that he has terrific knack for extracting best output from the technicians. He doesn’t write different stories; he just concentrates on telling the oft-repeated plotlines with a stylised treatment.

His third outing “Keshava” also treads the same path – a revenge drama told using best of cinematography and terrific background score.  

A hero taking vengeance for the killers of his parents is as old as Himalyas in the movie world. “Keshava” begins with Nikhil killing a police officer as this sets the motion for series of murders.

The director establishes at the very beginning that he is seeking revenge; there is no suspense on that front.

What he withholds is - who were behind the killing of his parents and why did they kill them brutally. So, the rest of the drama is all about finding out the real person (s) is. And it how he kills all of them even as an IPS officer nabs him in the middle of the act is told in the second half.

The movie goes off on terrific note till the intermission. Later, the director seems to have run out of ideas for the killings and also there are not much of surprises. The only surprise he has stored it for the climax part.

Hence the second half turns a bit tiresome as same thing is happening again. Like it is repeating of the same killings in the second half.

Still, the director holds the interest thanks largely to the excellent cinematography by Diwakar Mani and Prasanth Pillai’s awesome background score. Both of them have given the movie a different touch to the ordinary plot.

Hero killing the police officers who are involved in the death of his parents is not all new but Sudheer has placed the happenings in hitherto unexplored locations on the Telugu screen. So, the environment has set up right mood for the thin story.

Whatever the good feeling that the movie brings is largely due to this glitz – cinematography, locations, background score than the real narrative drama.

The director has never hid the fact that he copies or gets inspired from past movies. So, some of the old movie references are there.

On the other hand, the movie also suffers from lot of logical issues and repetitiveness of murders.

In the very beginning of the story, Nikhil says he has rare condition that his heart is placed on the right side, hence he can’t laugh loudly or run very fast. This aspect never appears in the entire movie again.

Moreover, he keeps on doing things (murders, escaping from the scene) that can easily raise his heartbeat. Such logical issues and an IPS officer (Isha Koppikar) acting more like an SI have marred the mood.

In a nutshell, ‘Keshava’ stresses more stress on style. Although the film has nothing new to offer in terms of plot, it keeps engaged with the taking. Good marks for style, thumbs down for routine story.

Bottomline: Slick Drama