Cinema

Kshanam: A well made thriller

Adah Sharma, Adivi Sesh and Anasuya Bharadwaj

Adah Sharma, Adivi Sesh and Anasuya Bharadwaj  

How many films, or roles, of Adivi Sesh or Adah Sharma do you recall as being substantial and worth remembering? Or, when in recent times did we see Vennela Kishore and Satyam Rajesh do something more than comedy? Actors like them rarely get a chance to assert themselves in roles with many shades. The same goes for Anasuya Bharadwaj who’s still establishing herself in cinema.

Debut director Ravikanth Perepu shows how underrated actors can take you by pleasant surprise. Their performances are the icing on the cake. The core of Kshanam is a well thought out story (by Adivi Sesh) and a watertight screenplay.

Every line spoken, inconsequential it may seem in the beginning, adds up to something more. Rishi (Adivi Sesh) hasn’t gotten over his break-up with Shweta (Adah). Four years have gone by and he’s learnt to focus on investment banking in San Francisco. Out of the blue, a voice message from Shweta brings him back to India. Her little daughter has been kidnapped and she wants him to help. He is plagued with questions, just as the audience is. Why him, after all these years? The police has closed the file and the husband, Karthik (Satyadev), has apparently found solace in work. There are no calls for ransom and all the roads she’s explored come to naught.

Soon, the 120-minute film introduces you to many players, from the ominous drug-addict Bobby to a small time cop who states there’s nothing to solve, punctuating it seamlessly with the love story of Rishi and Shweta in college.

The narration makes you empathise with Shweta but also throws in doubts. What if she isn’t what she seems to be? Or is she a victim of the world around her that’s constructing a big lie? Adah and Adivi are in sync with their parts, he willing to go any length to help her and she unsure if she should reveal all. In between all this, there’s the garage owner Vennela Kishore who forms a crucial link.

The film moves back and forth swiftly, leading you into a maze. Ravikanth Perepu’s writing shines as he ties up loose ends while introducing two more pivotal characters — Satyam Rajesh as a cop and additional commissioner of police, played deftly by Anasuya. The former is a guy who has his rough way with suspects and the latter is a suave operator. There’s also an assistant whose face is never shown, yet he brings in a few laughs.

The editing is crisp, music (Sricharan Pakala) and cinematography (Shaneil Deo) apt, giving the thriller the necessary finesse. A couple of questions do remain but discussing them here would give away the mystery.

Kshanam is the coming together of a good story, screenplay and performances. Go for it.

Kshanam

Cast: Adivi Sesh, Adah Sharma, Anasuya Bharadwaj

Direction: Ravikanth Perepu

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 4 stars

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 10:56:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/kshanam-review-a-well-made-thriller/article8285176.ece

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