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Virupaksha Review: Horror Set In New Ambiance

Virupaksha Review: Horror Set In New Ambiance

Movie: Virupaksha
Rating: 2.75/5
Sri Venkateswara Cine Chitra & Sukumar Writings
Cast: Sai Dharam Tej, Samyuktha Menon, Abhinav Gomatam, Sai Chand, Ajay, Sunil, Brahmaji, Rajeev Kanakala and others
Music: B. Ajaneesh Loknath
DOP: Shamdat Sainudeen
Editor: Navin Nooli
Art: Sri Nagendra Tangala
Producer: BVSN Prasad
Story and Directed by: Karthik Dandu
Release Date: April 21, 2023

Sai Dharam Tej began working on "Virupaksha" a long time ago, but his recovery from an accident delayed the film's release. However, the trailers and promotional campaign have managed to generate buzz and interest in the film.

With Sukumar writing the screenplay and his assistants becoming successful directors, Karthik Dandu, his disciple, was able to generate interest with this film. Let’s analyse.

Surya (Sai Dhara) Tej) and his mother pay a visit to their ancestral village, which is nestled deep in the forest. He falls in love with Nandini (Samyuktha Menon), the village head's daughter. Around the same time, a person dies in the village's temple, prompting the poojari to order everyone not to step out of the village for eight days. Anyone who leaves the village during this time will suffer the entire village.

So, everyone stays in the village, except for one girl who tries to elope with her lover, assuming that no one will come after her. However, her actions result in a slew of mysterious deaths.

Surya resolves to discover the truth and prevent his lover Nandini from becoming the next target.

Artistes’ Performances:
Sai Dharam Tej, who recently recovered from a bike accident, has taken on a role that is not particularly difficult for him. His role called for him to confidently guide the proceedings, and he succeeded in doing so. Although his character is passive in the first half, he eventually becomes heroic.

Samyukta Menon finally gets a role that is both meaty and challenging for her to play. She seizes the opportunity.

Among the other actors, Sai Chand is effective as Poojari. Shyamala has a few good scenes. Rajeev Kanakala is okay. Sunil's character makes no sense in the context of the story. Abhinav Gomatam only appears in two or three scenes.

Technical Excellence:
The film belongs to technicians. From cinematographer to art director, they have put in terrific output. Shamdat captured the occult sequences quite well. His camera work has created a mood.

The production design is excellent. While the songs are forgettable, the ‘Kantara’ fame Ajaneesh Loknath provides a reasonable background score. Editing should have been sharper.

The final twist
The screenplay
Production design

Drags on towards the end
The early romantic portions

Recently, Indian films have begun to explore stories set in a bygone era, with most of them taking place in a ‘specific location' created through sets and visual effects. Keeping with the trend, "Virupaksha" is set in a village in the deep forest in the 1990s. The story depicts an entire village being affected by black magic. 

The majority of the story takes place at night and in the forest. The film is similar to recent Kannada films like "Vikrant Rona."

Sai Dharam Tej is an outsider who came into the village of Rudravanam in the same way that Sudeep enters the village to investigate the murders that occurred there.

Although these two films have many similarities, "Virupaksha" is quite different from “Vikrant Rona” and many other thrillers. "Virupaksha" succeeds on many levels, the first of which is the story and setting.

The elements of Ashta Digbandhanam, as well as the chilling depiction of four mysterious deaths and the train accident, set the tone for this thriller.

Director Karthik Dandu begins the story in a conventional manner, but his narration becomes gripping just before the intermission, and he keeps our attention thereafter, despite some ups and downs. The unexpected climax adds to the film's overall mood.

When the hero decides to find out who is performing the occult practices, and who in the village is assisting him, the film begins to make sense and becomes gripping. This episode is well-staged and executed.

While the romantic track between the hero and heroine is tedious, it is linked to crucial final scenes. Nonetheless, the director should have come up with a better romantic track. There are also numerous loose ends. Furthermore, those who have seen similar thrillers will notice that many of these sequences are overtly familiar.

On the whole, "Virupaksha" is a mystic thriller that stays true to its genre, and the narration captures our attention for the most part. Despite some flaws, such as dragged-out scenes at the end and a mediocre romantic score, the film is worth a watch. It is heavily reliant on technical output, which has greatly aided the film.

Bottom line: Holds Interest


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