Movie: W/o Ram
Banner: Manchu Entertainment
Cast: Lakshmi Manchu, Samrat Reddy, Priyadarshi, Adarsh Balakrishnan, Krishna Srikanth Iyengar and others
Dialogues: Sandeep Reddy Ganta
Music: Raghu Dixit
Cinematography: Samala Bhaskar
Editor: Thammi Raju
Produced by: Lakshmi Manchu and T G Vishwaprasad
Story, screenplay and Directed by: Vijay Yelakanti
Release date: July 20, 2018
'W/o Ram' starring Lakshmi Manchu in the title role has been making buzz due to its strong theatrical trailer.
The trailer gave the impression that it has solid suspense elements and Lakshmi is moving into the terrain of Vidya Balan.
Let’s see how good this suspense thriller is.
“Wife of Ram” is the story of Deeksha (Lakshmi Manchu) whose husband is murdered in mysterious circumstances. She sets out on a quest to find the murderer. She suspects one of her husband’s friends behind his killing.
With the help of a young police officer (Priyadarshi), she tries to solve the murder case in her own way, but she finds the job is not that easy.
Can she really nab the murderer?
Lakshmi Manchu has played a serious character, a strong woman. She is not ordinary wife, she works in NGO and has strong feminist values, but at the same time, she is vulnerable. Lakshmi Manchu has played this complex role neatly.
Priyadarshi gets major role and he is effective here. Adarsh Balakrishnan as villain and Samrat Reddy as Lakshmi’s hubby give dull performances. Krishna Srikanth Iyengar as police inspector is irritating.
The film is shot in limited budget, but the cinematography and artwork are effective. The camera work is excellent and has created right mood. Background score is not that effective. Editing is sharp.
Easy guess of twist
Anyone who has seen Vidya Balan's terrific thriller 'Kahaani', that won universal acclaim and also later remade into Telugu as 'Anamika", can easily guess where Lakshmi Manchu starrer 'Wife of Ram' is heading.
The structure of 'Kaahani' and 'Wife of Ram' are much the same, but the topics they deal with are different. While Vidya Balan movie is a superior thriller, new director Vijay Yelakanti’s is a watered-down version.
In 'Wife of Ram', Lakshmi Manchu is presented as a woman who lost her husband and stillborn child who is set to out find the answers for the killing of her husband Ram.
The film begins scratchily, but gets its momentum in the middle-portion as the suspense starts building. The initial portions put off, but the director has shown his mark in handling the tech-related things -- Facebook, Whatsapp, etc. However, he seems to have no clue how the police work in Hyderabad.
The proceedings at a police station in the film are just replica of old movies. The SI character is so irritating, while the new police officer's role (played by Priyadarshi) is just a xerox copy of the police officer's character in 'Kahaani'.
The gripping moments come in post-interval sequences. There are some really good moments here, but again the movie loses its steam after the "twist" is revealed.
"Wife of Ram" is not just a crime thriller but it also deals the topic of sexual abuse of women. It is a topical point but a little matured handling would have made a difference. The point comes across as forced or as an after-thought point in the end.
There is a scene in the film where Deeksha (Lakshmi Manchu) goes to a female escort to get information from her, but the escort thinks that Deekhsa came for lesbian sex and the sequence is extended beyond point when Deeksha's intention is clearly established. This scene may seem bold for some, but it actually has diluted the effect.
Those who have not seen 'Kahaani' or 'Anamika' may find the second half is gripping but for others it doesn't excite. Also, the problem is that the film lacks strong performances. However, the director has shown some flashes of spark in the second half.
Altogether, 'Wife of Ram' has some gripping moments, fairly decent plot and a nice message, but it also disappoints in the end. It is far better than some of Lakshmi Manchu's recent movies but it is not as gripping as 'Kahaani' was.
Bottom-line: Lackluster Thriller