All of us at some point of time in childhood must have played the game of spirits or at least heard about them. Debutant director Krishna Verma who worked as an assistant in Lakshyam brings an interesting and engaging two-hour story that has five friends arguing about the existence of God and the devil. Somewhere down the line they all settle down for a game on the Ouija board. The game's premise lies in calling the spirits of the dead and having conversations with them. Play begins in a posh apartment introducing the characters and how they are led into playing the game.

The director shows that he has the chops to handle this sort of highly complicated theme, while on a parallel level giving us a clear character sketch of the five friends and making one involved in the game.

The film keeps shifting from being a comedy, adventure, thriller as it keeps one guessing the next move. Ashok, Nikki (Trinadh), Gopi and Subhash live together in a flat and Nikki's friend Shanti (Srilakshmi) from the USA calls him to say that she is in town and would want to visit him. The watchmen and the apartment supervisor breathe fire upon seeing a women walking into a bachelor's pad. Vijay, a common friend, drops in for while and agrees to be part of the ‘spirit game' that they want to play just for fun. Things suddenly turn serious when Shanti who began the game forgets to close it and claims she cannot revive him after sunrise, she can only try after dusk. The friends have to wait for Shanti to return at dusk again but she doesn't — what happens then?

Astro-travelling or suspended animation is defined as bringing out the spirit and having conversations while the person is still alive; 16years back a serial on television on this topic evoked interest, but this is the first time a film is made on it, claims the director.

Though the film released, it had to be pulled out due to The Businessman's occupation of theatres. It is releasing again on January 20. It's a wonderful start for the talented Krishna Verma who wrote this script because he lacked a budget to make a love story and be noticed in the industry. The film is worth a watch for its script, direction, competent acting and the technical finesse all made within a shoestring budget.

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Cast: Vijay, Ashok, Srilakshmi, Angel

Direction: Krishna Verma

Music: Gopi Verma

Genre: Comic Thriller

Plot: Friends begin a game of spirits but forget how to close it

Bottomline: A nice blend of humour and horror

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Telugu Cinema ReviewsOctober 18, 2011