Telugu cinema Reviews

‘Akshara’ review: Preachy and lacklustre

Ever since Yekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada became a hit, Nandita Swetha had been busy. Directors have woven women-centric subjects and ‘budget’ stories for her. She too has been making efforts to be a part of diverse genres. Here, Nandita Swetha plays the protagonist Vimala who studies at a government school and refuses to move to a corporate institution. Vimala turns Akshara — for reasons that are revealed later — and becomes a physics lecturer in a school where Sanjay Swaroop is the chairman and Shritej (who played Chandrababu Naidu in Lakshmi’s NTR ) is the director.

Akshara
  • Cast: Nandita Swetha, Shritej, Sanjay Swaroop
  • Direction: B Chinni Krishna
  • Music: Suresh Bobbili

The movie begins with the chairman accepting an award and blowing his school’s trumpet while we are shown a bright student jumping to her death from the school terrace. The suicide is definitely not due to any academic pressure, he claims and is later seen trying to hush up the case.

There is a sudden digression from here to and we are compelled to endure unnecessary comedy for half an hour; clearly, there is a dearth of proper content. Just when the issue is about to get diluted, the heroine kills the director of the school, who had proposed to her. Avid movie watchers can sense a connection between the student’s suicide and this murder. A sub-plot traces the back story of the heroine but none of that emotionally moves us. Corporate schools roping in ‘rank students’, using their names to cash in on admissions and then pressurising them to excel, driving them to suicide hardly creates a shock value. .

The heroine hardly speaks for the most part of the film but towards the climax, she surrenders to the cops and gives a lengthy monologue that is watched keenly by people all over the State. What happens next to her case is anyone’s guess. The murders happen routinely and the investigation officer hardly injects seriousness into the story. The director’s attempt to proselytise parents’ opinion on the education system fails as the teachers sound too preachy and the dialogues bookish and over the top.

Nandita sports only two expressions; she is either smiling or mildly angry. Sanjay Swaroop gets to do a grey character and this perhaps is the lengthiest role in his career. For some reason, even in the romantic scenes, we feel Shritej is talking like the above-mentioned politician; the hangover seems too strong.

While the comedy kills the story to a certain extent, the background score makes your ears bleed. Cinematography is the saving grace. The film neither surprises nor keeps you engaged.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 6:38:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/akshara-review-preachy-and-lacklustre/article33941391.ece

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