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'Idam Jagath' review: Anything for TRPs

Sumanth and Anjali Kurian in ‘Idam Jagath’

Sumanth and Anjali Kurian in ‘Idam Jagath’  

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A possible critique of media practices ends up as an amateurish drama

Idam Jagath, coming at the fag end of 2018, could have been an intriguing drama that critiques media practices and tries to find out what makes a reporter/stringer voyeuristic at the scent of crime. Instead, it ends up as an amateurish attempt that doesn’t build on a premise that seems heavily inspired by Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler starring Jake Gyllenhall.

Director Anil Srikantam’s screenplay turns the focus on TRP-hungry local news channels and asks how far would a reporter go to get a headline-grabbing story. Will he tamper things at the scene of an accident or crime for sensational footage, and hence more money? The protagonist of Idam Jagath will do that, and a lot more.

Idam Jagath
  • Cast: Sumanth, Anju Kurian and Satya
  • Direction: Anil Srikantam

Nishit (Sumanth) is diagnosed with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder that keeps him awake all night. We learn that he’s been thrown out of a few jobs since he finds it tough to stay awake during the day. Scouting the city at night, he chances upon an incident being covered by stringers who sell footage to a news channel. With the help of his friend Anand (Satya), Nishit buys a video camera and teaches himself the basics of night-time shooting. His first footage is amateurish but earns him a few thousands and soon, there’s no stopping him. It’s a telling statement of the times we live — the more sensational the footage, TRPs get better and so does the money.

In journalism, it pays to be first. With no sources that regular reporters have, Nishit steals a walkie-talkie from the cops and thus gets information shared from the control room. Seriously, what happens when cops don’t find one of their radio devices? Isn’t there a procedure to stop relaying information to a device that could fall in the wrong hands?

In the story that unfolds in Vizag, Nishit gets sucked into the vortex of headline-grabbing crime and bargaining for hefty sums from the news channel. While the idea is interesting, Idam Jagath doesn’t get its act together to present a gripping crime drama. Large chunks of the film are amateurishly handled and this lack of finesse keeps us from being invested in the proceedings. The reactions from people who watch a fire mishap, for instance, looks extremely staged. That apart, the plot itself doesn’t have enough intrigue. The romance between Sumanth and Anjali Kurian doesn’t have the zing, and the crime and political nexus too isn’t fleshed out well.

Barring Sumanth who gets a role that gives him ample scope to shine, the other characters and performances have nothing much to write about.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 5:29:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/idam-jagath-anything-for-trps/article25850146.ece

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