Cinema

Tripura: The wall tells an inspired story

Swathi in a scene from the film  

The horror-comedy genre has been on a revival, with a few small and medium budget films that have some semblance of a plot tasting success by breaking the monotony of masala potboilers. Director Raaja Kiran’s own Geethanjali is an example.

Encouraged by the reception to his previous film, he pushes forth another idea through Tripura. The problem is, the smartest portion of the plot bring in memories of an earlier Tamil film. Irrespective of whether the makers borrowed a sliver of an idea and reworked it into a new plot or the resemblance is coincidental, it is a dampener.

Esha (Pooja Ramachandran) is murdered in a farm house and her body is hidden in one of the walls. Remember the 1984 Tamil crime thriller Nooravathu Naal? The taut crime thriller was later remade in Hindi.

Meanwhile, in a hamlet, Tripura (Swathi) creates a stir in the village with her premonitions that occur through dreams. (In Nooravathu Naal too, premonitions come into play). Her father sees these premonitions as a hindrance, an ailment, and seeks assistance from the psychology wing of a hospital, headed by Rao Ramesh. Tripura is entrusted to Naveen (Naveen Chandra) with whom she falls in love. Esha, now considered missing, was an employee of the same hospital and a friend of Naveen.

Raaja Kiran constructs the opening block quite well, building up the intrigue. On a different track, he brings in psychology discussions and interpretation of dreams through Rao Ramesh, Naveen and his peers. But neither the mystery of the missing woman nor the interpretation of dreams is fully exploited.

Days after a woman goes missing, her apartment complex has no signs of police investigation, so much so that Tripura walks in freely into the apartment at a later date hoping to find a clue. Conveniently, the family backgrounds of both Esha and Naveen are not discussed. There is no friend or family member seeking an answer to Esha’s disappearance.

The psychology discussions, too, stay at a surface level. Instead, what one witnesses is a comedy sequences through Sapthagiri, Jayaprakash Reddy and Shakalaka Shankar. After a point, the humour seems forced and pointless. The interlude one night at the farm house where the trio discusses the scenario in the Telugu film industry, sneaking in a reference to Raaja Kiran and Geethanjali, is shrill and overstays its welcome.

The core plot takes centrestage after a lot of time is wasted in trivial humour. By that time, anyone fed on commercial cinema over the years would smell a twist.

Tripura has a few things going for it. The product is sleek and the horror is free of gore. Swathi fits the bill of a rustic girl finding her feet in the city, trusting her partner completely. Naveen Chandra makes his mark in an underwhelming part. Kannada actor Tilak puts in a brief appearance.

Had the film stayed true to its genre and not swayed off track, Tripura would have been a much better watch.

Tripura

Cast: Naveen Chandra, Swathi Reddy, Rao Ramesh

Music: Kamran

Direction: Raaja Kiran

Bottom line: A plot diluted by forced humour.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 11:14:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/tripura-the-wall-tells-an-inspired-story/article7850867.ece

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