Of thrills, chills and occasional laughter

Of thrills, chills and occasional laughter

Maruthi's 'Premakatha Chitram' is one of those low budget films backed by quirky narration, that can't be placed under one particular genre. The...

Maruthi's 'Premakatha Chitram' is one of those low budget films backed by quirky narration, that can't be placed under one particular genre. The reason? The film shifts gears at regular intervals only to remind us that it doesn't fit in to the genre we think it belongs to. Even though it leaves you guessing at most places, what it manages to achieve at the end is that it gives its viewers an experience worth their money.
During a time when most Telugu films are backed by their famed actors, the film succeeds merely due to its content. Walking a tight rope between romance, horror and thriller genres, it is the story of four friends (Sudheer, Nanditha, Praveen and Saptagiri), who are unsatisfied with life and, therefore, plan on committing mass suicide at a remote farmhouse in the outskirts of Hyderabad. At the farmhouse, Sudheer begins to fall for Nanditha, who has been secretly having feelings for him. As Sudheer tries to get intimate with Nanditha, unknown things start to happen much to his bewilderment. It is revealed later that every time Sudheer tries to get close to Nanditha, something goes wrong. The rest of the story is all about why things turn ugly whenever Sudheer attempts to touch Nanditha. One of the reasons why the film is instantly likeable is because it deviates from commercialism and makes way to creativity. It doesn't glorify its hero like most Telugu films, but instead gives importance to all four characters with equally distributed screen space. The plot isn't truly outstanding but the performances definitely are worth the time and money invested. The film strikes a fine balance between multiple genres, allowing audiences to take home experience filled with thrills, chills and occasional laughter. While Sudheer is the hero figure in the film, occasionally do we get to see him flaunt the hero tag with �lan. Instead, he becomes the pick of most rollicking moments that are aptly backed by the supporting cast of whom Praveen manages to bring the house down at most occasions. This is his big ticket to join the leagues of ace comedians. Nanditha, with her expressive eyes, comes up with a cheerful performance. Most Telugu films run beyond two and a half hours, but thankfully the film sticks to two-hour fifteen minutes and manages to entertain throughout, barring few scenes. It doesn't boast of any scenes that are neither melodramatic nor tear-jerking. It is plain entertainment laced with intermittent thrills. While Prabhakar directed the film, Maruthi's stamp was all over the film. Yes, there are double meaning dialogues but not to the extent where they are unbearable. Not only does the film entertain, but works brilliantly in inducing laughter in the most serious scenes- the biggest achievement of the film. However, the film's biggest letdown is its climax, which not only kills all the excitement the film builds but also reminds us how an exceptionally different film can turn into a run-of-the-mill kind of story in an instant. While the lead characters gets lions share in terms of footage, Prabhakar could have handled other characters (besides leads) to perfection, as most of them looked amateurish in front of the camera. Having said that, the film is filled with moments that one looks forward for the weekend. - IANS Premakatha Chitram Cast: Sudheer Babu, Nanditha, Praveen and Giri Music: JB Direction: Prabhakar Reddy Genre: Thriller Rating: ***
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