After scoring 50 Crores blockbuster with A... Aa, hero Nithiin took his time to come with LIE in creative direction of Hanu Raghavapudi, produced on 14 Reels banner introducing Megha Akash as heroine. Rich visuals, imposing promotional stuff and presence of Tamil star Arjun as antagonist made LIE one of the most awaited releases for today. Let us see, what LIE is all about?
Two anonymous persons A Sathyam (Nithiin), Chaitra (Megha Akash) have a common dream to go USA. To redeem flight ticket money, they agree to share ticket and enroute develop a crush on each other. On the other side of story, National Investigation Agency (NIA) is on a mission to nab incognito International Criminal and Master of Great Indian Rope magician trick Padmanabham (Arjun) hidden in Las Vegas. Agency sends two secret agents to Vegas, one being opened as Aadi (Sri Ram), other is a hidden showman. Padmanabham’s whereabouts are tracked through an International courier consisting of a specially stitched suit to be delivered in Vegas.As Padmanabham gets aware of NIA mission, he joins the action to begin the play of intelligence with action. Who is A Sathyam? What is his personal rivalry with Padmanabham? Where all this story leads to is rest of the film.
Action thrillers based on the subject of spying in International backdrops are a rare phenomenon in Telugu cinema. Taking the que from popular Hollywood genre, Hanu Raghavapudi cleverly Telugucized the theme with love and enmity flavors in a rather intelligently written screenplay. Direction wise, his narrative though had some oversights yet LIE remained a distinct treat for Telugu audience. Weaving a newfangled romance into the seriously thrilling subject, Hanu showed his personal mark as he is a master in dealing love tracks colorfully. At the same time, showcasing Arjun in an unseen perspective made LIE to come alive with new styling. Drawing instances from mythology and using them on characters is one more special element found in Hanu. Yuvaraj’s camera work captured the USA locales beautifully arresting our attention. SE Sekhar’s editing appeared bizarre in second half. Mani Sharma is the most reliable music director in Tollywood when it comes to re-recording and he delivered the goods this time too. Songs wise Bombhaat is really Bombhaat. Production values from 14 Reels are first rate.About performances, Nithiin’s styling is the first needs to be highlighted. Disclosure of real identity at interval or the train fight persuading for heroine’s happiness scenes, Nithiin was superb. His love for Pawan Kalyan was also made visible in couple of episodes. Bombhaat song, Nithiin showed his ease at dances. Megha Akash has an expressive face and can be a promising talent to look on. Arjun is obviously the show stealer. At this age, the fitness he maintained is clap-worthy. He did a terrific job in confrontation scenes with hero. Ravi Kishan made his presence felt as positive NIA Chief. Sri Ram too looked very confident. Madhu Nandan entertained to an extent. Rest like Suresh, 30 Years Prudhvi, Brahmaji and others may not need a special mention.
Nithiin StylingArjun CharacterizationIntelligenceMani Sharma RRYuvaraj Camera
Love TrackSecond HalfClimax Fight
Whenever hero, villain conflict turns into mind games, obviously screenplay has to be rope tight and execution has to be flawless. Hanu has done needful homework in this portion because these portions shot between Nithiin and Arjun have become the basic lifeline for whole film. Emotional revenge part annexed with a flashback was too patchy and foolish. Yet LIE had a classic appeal throughout for high range production values and brilliant camerawork which gave a chic look overall.Beginning the narrative on heroine’s childhood was a clever trick because audiences are left clueless on later proceedings to draw a connection with central International crime thrills. Hanu concentrated heavily on Nithiin, Megha romance eating the time just to bluff us keeping his hero away from Sri Ram and Arjun episodes. Having highly talented artists like Ravi Kishan, Naazar in team, first half never appeared boring. Revealing hero’s actual identity was an example of clever screenplay.Into second half, Nithiin and Megha track became uninterested. Arjun though succeeded to hold the audience interest by using his prosthetics technique entering into Naazar, Sri Ram roles, there was scope for Hanu to generate more excitement here which he missed so. Especially, the hotel fight with Korean fighters was too good. Nithiin’s flashback and Arjun eliminating Sri Ram, Naazar from the game provided a right pitch for pre climax which was hurried. Climax fight shot between hundreds of aero planes could have been little lengthier.All in all, LIE is a contrasting film in comparison to regular potboilers. There’s more style and moderate substance with lack in narrative pace at many times. CJ goes for 2.75 stars to LIE as the film has got good chances to hold good in metros, A centers and Overseas.