Yesteryear glamorous actress Raasi is coming back with a heroine centric thriller Lanka in Sri Muni direction based on telepathy concept. The film created some excitement for its teaser, trailer. Let us see, what the film is all about in Lanka Review.
Malayalam top and award winning actress Swathi (Ina Saha) joins debutant director Sai (Sai Ronak) to work on a horror short film in Hyderabad. They rent a guest house belonging to Rebecca (Raasi), an expert in telepathy. Strange incidents begin to happen at guest house and one day Swathi goes missing along with Rebecca. Police officers (Supreet, Sathyam Rajesh) are given the investigation duties thus comes Swathi in behaving exactly like Rebecca. What’s the purpose behind Rebecca using telepathy to control Swathi? What is the role of Sharath (Sijju) in the whole story?
Fundamental story element of telepathy is exciting enough to hear but Sri Muni failed to weave an effective plot around it. Too many assumptions networked into the plot made screenplay go misshaped and complex. A plain screenplay with only telepathy concept could have saved Lanka big time. Sri Muni’s enthusiasm at story etching by adding a human trafficking twist to antagonist characterization diluted the original essence making the output feeble and bewildered. Dialogues are of very ordinary quality and sometimes sounded like a dubbing film. Direction wise, Sri Muni excelled in mid second half while rest is bland, boring and lengthy. Ravi Kumar’s camera work is mediocre like bizarre editing from Karthika Srinivas. Music by Sricharan Pakala is also average stuff. Onto production standards, Rolling Rocks Entertainments banner managed a decent output spending on an experimental project.
About performances, Raasi in central character failed to pillar the film on her shoulders. Her queer looking eyes, abnormal costumes and strength-less dialogues delivery are just pathetic. Ina Saha neither is good looking nor a show stealer as an artist. Sai Ronak hasn’t got anything to do. Sijju is far better than all. Sathya, Sathyam Rajesh, Nalla Venu’s comedy is just ok. Rest, none needs a mention.
Mid Second Half
Though it is a welcome change among Telugu technicians to spot on scientific points like telepathy but lot more depth and sincerity at narration is needed. Such ideas always look stimulating on paper. Real challenge comes in execution, handling every department potently. Sri Muni exactly failed in this case and his over intelligence bounced big time. Despite having a functional telepathy point, why he shifted the gear to human trafficking, exploitation of female orphans is unknown and that too with inexpressive artists at disposal.
Film begins lifelessly after titles when Sai Ronak, Sathya struggle to find a heroine for their short film. Comedy portions failed miserably. Ina Saha never appeared comfortable to eyes. Raasi’s simple introduction at guest house and proceedings there off could have been far better and scary. Once telepathy point is revealed, story goes haywire leading to a weak interval block when Ina Saha goes missed.
Second half begins promisingly as Raasi’s police station scene is handled better. Then Supreet cracking Raasi’s flashback with Sijju’s entry went smoothly. Later on, many scenes shot on Sijju and Ina Saha in Kerala are interest generating. Once audience are found cheated in a poor screenplay format, climax rushes up.
All in all, Lanka is a simple subject went complicated with unwanted elements. Entanglement of Ina Saha in many problems and projection of Raasi in negative light was more than enough to run Lanka. Instead, Sri Muni made the film a mess. CJ gives Lanka review rating 2 stars and commercially, no hopes at all.