Action hero Gopichand is on poorest patch of career. After lot many postponements behind the screen, Oxygen directed by Jothi Krishna has hit the screens today. While Rashi Khanna, Anu Emmanuel filled the glamour part, there’s stellar casting in the film which made it a bit exciting. Has Oxygen got any meat in it?
Krishna Prasad (Gopichand) lands in India and that too in Achuthapuram village to marry Shruti (Rashi Khanna), daughter of business tycoon Raghupathi (Jagapathi Babu) who has a very big family. On the other side, there is a hidden threat for Raghupathi’s family from an anonymous enemy who already killed Raghupathi’s elder brother (Jayaprakash). A huge twist is awaited when Krishna Prasad is believed to become a savior. Who is Krishna Prasad and what happened to his family including a medico girlfriend (Anu Emmanuel) is rest.
Oxygen though sounds like an interesting film by its title but Jothi Krishna’s story, treatment and direction are completely flawed. Except having an interval twist and a message for smokers, rest everything is forced into screenplay. Neither the writing part nor the execution part, nowhere he had clarity. What begins as a boring romance and fun in rural backdrop loses track episode by episode testing the viewer patience. Only in second half when core element is revealed, there’s a bit of relief but derails immediately. Camera by Vetri and Chota K Naidu is inconsistent. Editing by Uddhav is bad and so is the music from Yuvan Shankar Raja along with background score from Chinna. Production standards from S Aishwarya are good.
Onto artists, Gopichand looked handsome throughout. He has got two shaded character, one as a good hero winning the hearts of heroine’s family members and second is of an Army man with a suffered family. He did a wonderful job in both. Rashi Khanna is beautiful in village belle costumes. Anu Emmanuel played a role with purpose. Jagapathi Babu missed his mark in a poorly etched role. Ali’s comedy is just ok. Of the rest there is a big batch of Brahmaji, Supreet, Amith, Sayaji Shinde, Kick Shyam, Ashish Vidyarthi, Abhimanyu Singh, Sithara, Sudha, Chandra Mohan and many more filling the screen.
Second Half Flashback
Going by essence in title, do not expect any chemical reaction to happen in theater. For sure there will be an electrolyte imbalance for patrons as they feel the exasperation. While the thought of Jothi Krishna to educate the people on life threatening diseases to be caused by cigarette smoking to justify his title but the treatment he employed is full of carbon dioxide. No where he succeeded in raising the curiosity levels which dampened the whole show.
Beginning the first half with murder of Jayaprakash and introducing his brother Jagapathi Babu as industrialist before titles, obviously the much needed thrill factor was established. Once Gopichand enters and narrative shifts to Achuthapuram, its unstoppable boredom. Ali though provided laughter at instances, nothing worked right. In between Sayaji’s track was disgustingly shot. Bridge fight when Gopichand rescues Rashi Khanna family is pathetically picturized followed by a song. Interval is though an acceptable twist, it wasn’t nerve breaking.
Second half opens Gopichand flashback. His family and girlfriend Anu Emmanuel are a perfect fit while Army portions are weak. Whatever the message Jothi Krishna tried to convey in this part is appreciable. Rest is the formulaic revenge audience has to bear with. Addition of AshishVidyarthi track is also a time waste.
All in all, Oxygen did not breathe any fresh air for Gopichand’s dwindling career. His flop streak continues. Jothi Krishna’s poor direction has let the sincerity in message to dilute and drain away. Commercially, one might have to wait on how B, C center audience react. CJ goes with 2 stars.