We’ve seen these stories before; if not in Telugu cinema, then in Hindi and English for sure. Reckon the likes of I know what you did last summer, Scream, Friday the 13th and more. A bunch of guys head into a forest (replaceable by any other creepy place you’ll never go into) only to get killed one at a time by a psycho.
Aravind 2 offers a narrative which follows two parallel stories that converge at a point to become one; Aravind (Sri) is the only remaining member from a group of friends who go ‘missing’ at Dandeli Forest in Goa. He is implicated as the prime suspect in their murders. When he eventually gets bail, he wants to go find Priya (Madhavi Lata) who also went missing. At the same time, cast, Rishi (Kamal Kamaraju), Tanushka (Adonica) and crew members of a film, touted by the geeky-glass-sporting director (Srinivas Avasarala) to be a romantic film, set out to Dandeli forests to shoot for their film. Meanwhile, Aravind comes to the sets to hide from a goon who wants to kill him. When the director spots Aravind amidst the crowd he wants him to be the second lead. Anyway, Aravind and the film crew set out to the jungles and stay at a guesthouse that looks rather abandoned. Then the killing spree begins. Here is what the ‘logic Nazi’ has to ask: Is film-making really that haphazard? Don’t directors and producers do recce/location scouting long before a film is to be shot? And are directors really that whimsical about their casting? Anyway, like the remaining four in the climax who ponder over existential questions right when a killer is on the loose hunting for their flesh, you too will have these questions for this rickety script.
What is not to love about a thriller? It is a genre where you can usually get away with anything when you employ great sound effects, creepy camera angles and a huffing and puffing star cast. Aravind 2 gives you the promise of a Jason Voorhees (reckon Friday the 13th) but bails on you right in the beginning. It isn’t because the storyline isn’t strong enough but simply because the filmmakers deem it all right to include crass elements and characters, to give it unnecessary padding. You have sexually overcharged characters, cockeyed songs and dialogues and some characters are so inane that you think they deserve to die. It is simple; if your goal is to scare and creep out people, do it with the one-hour of good material that you have. Why is there a perennial need to stretch a movie beyond two hours and not do justice to any aspect of the film? Aravind 2 is not outright terrible; when the actual killer-victim sequence begins, it gets quite enjoyable. There are a couple of well-shot scenes, especially when the director gets killed and is being dragged out by the killer or the scene in the slaughterhouse. Genuine creepy stuff washed over with bad and predictable dialogues.
Cast: Srinivas Avasarala, Kamal Kamaraju, Adonica, Sri
Director: Shekkhar Suri
Plot: A serial killer on the loose, people have to escape!
Bottomline: If you are looking for the creeps be prepared for the yikes that are served along with it