Review Movies

Okka Kshanam: Can you change destiny?

Allu Sirish and Surbhi in the film

Allu Sirish and Surbhi in the film  

The film finds its rhythm when it explores the idea of ‘parallel lives’

Director Vi Anand has the knack of choosing interesting ideas. Remember Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada? Just as we thought we’ve had enough of horror and comedy, he tweaked the tired tropes and kept the suspense alive. In his newest outing, he wants us to have faith in the possibility of changing the course of destiny.

It begins like a regular boy-meets-girl story with furtive glances. It’s also boring for a while. Jeeva (Allu Sirish) and Jo (Surbhi) meet at the basement of Inorbit mall, in B57 parking slot. Jo makes the first move and shares her number. She puts Jeeva through a series of tests; meetings with both families follow and occasionally she talks about her fetish for people watching — especially the couple Srinivas (Srinivas Avasarala) and Swati (Seerat Kapoor).

The Jo-Jeeva romance track isn’t bad but it’s not good enough to keep you invested in their journey. The story seems to be going nowhere, barring those glimpses — of Srinivas-Swati’s lives where something sinister is brewing, and an academician (played by Jayaprakash) asking his students to look at life in a larger context.

Then, Vi Anand slowly reveals his cards. Jeeva learns that Srini and Swati, too, have travelled a similar romantic route, meeting in B57. The similarities are eerie. Jo and Jeeva discover the concept of ‘parallel lives’ and foresee their own troubled future together; there’s a suspicion-rousing death to make things worse.

It’s here the story jumpstarts and everything that was uninteresting so far makes sense in the thickening plot. Allu Sirish and Surbhi, who until then meander through the love story, get something to chew on. This is by far Allu Sirish’s best outing and he’s a lot more comfortable on screen. Surbhi is impressive in the later portions and somehow you feel this Gentleman actor isn’t getting enough opportunity to showcase her calibre.

The unravelling of incidents that led to a death gives a few edge-of-the-seat moments. Shakalaka Shankar, Praveen and the antagonist who’s hell bent on speaking only in Telugu are fun. After all that interplay of science, destiny and a murder, does one need an overdose of melodrama? This is where the build up to a good climax falls flat.

Okka Kshanam is gripping in parts but it could have been so much more. Had the initial romance track been better and with a little more depth in the characterisation of Srinivas Avasarala and Seerat Kapoor (they are impressive within the limited opportunity), the film could have been a solid thriller of human relationships against the ways of destiny.

As an aside to the people-watching portions, in these times of diminishing privacy, who has those large windows in their living rooms, that too in a bunch of apartment complex where someone can always be watching you? Draw the curtains people!

Okka Kshanam

Cast: Allu Sirish, Surbhi, Srinivas Avasarala, Seerat Kapoor

Direction: Vi Anand

Story: What happens when you discover the phenomenon of parallel lives and foresee a death?

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 10:09:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/the-film-finds-its-rhythm-when-it-explores-the-idea-of-parallel-lives/article22326233.ece

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