Ghazi has set in a new trend for Indian cinema to research, experiment on fresh lines of International standards. Director Sankalp has come up with his second film centered on space and aptly titled Antariksham bankrolled by Rajeev Reddy and Krish. Let us see, what this Space Expedition is about and how captivating are the visuals?
Indian Space Centre (ISC) is struck with a threat of global communication blackout as their satellite Mihira lost its track, is on the verge of colliding with space debris to create havoc damaging the satellites of other countries. ISC has only hope in their past employee Dev (Varun Tej) to impart the knowledge. However Dev has a flashback with dead satellite Viprayan, Mission to Moon and a haunting personal loss. Once Dev rejoins ISC, he shocks everyone to take the voyage as Astronaut along with Riya (Aditi Rao) and two other. After fixing Mihira, then Dev enroute takes a sensational decision to retrieve data from Viprayan and kick starts Operation Kinnera. With the support from ground team (Rahman, Avasarala Srinivas), how Dev makes entire India proud accomplishing Operation Kinnera is the final portion.
After making first underwater war film Ghazi, director Sankalp Reddy became more ambitious and this time he came up with first space thriller Antariksham. First of all, Sankalp must have a pat on back for making such challenging subject that too with limited resources. Though Sankalp botched to deal romantic track which is not his forte, he was master at handling the space scenes which has thrills, frills, drama, sentiment, heroics and patriotism. The plot as is known is new to Indian cinema and his taking is exceptional. Dramatics and thrilling episodes looked sensible because of Prashanth Vihari’s captivating and appealing BGM. Gnanasekhar VS captured the visuals like a master and editing by Karthika Srinivas is sharp. VFX team has also done a splendid job. Production values of First Frame Entertainments are mediocre.
Onto artists, Varun Tej is maturing as an actor with each film. He showed variations in his character as a young scientist and a mature astronaut who has great temperament with stubborn attitude. He looked equally handsome in two avatars with and without beard. Lavanya Tripathi has got very limited space and romantic track is easily forgettable. Aditi Rao Hydari is cool as Varun’s subordinate. Rahman was usual. Satyadev, Srinivas Avasarala, Raja and Kunal Kaushik have played their role efficiently.
Thrills in Space
Varun Tej, Aditi Rao
Lack of Entertainment
Mediocre Production Values
Strictly For Multiplex Audience
Unlike Ghazi which had an energized central conflict of Indo-Pak rivalry and Ocean bottom battle field, Antariksham is a straight forward film with space journey as central theme and no noticeable conflict. So, Sankalp has limitations inherently within the script. But what mattered most is to engage viewers in space visuals. Here is where Sankalp showed sensible approach packaging second half with good number of edge of seat thrilling moments blended with in-depth research on astronomy jargon.
Though Antariksham begins on interesting note with mentioning of Mihira and the catastrophe it is set to create in the universe, jumping on flashback mode to recollect the romantic track of Varun with Lavanya Tripathi and the personal loss with failure of Viprayan kept things on a very low key. The essence required to carry romance and pain behind Varun leaving ISC isn’t carried. Yet, Varun accepting to take up ISC duties or the influence of Aditi Rao, Rahman and Avasarala kept the interest alive. Once they enter into space, promising more thrills in the second first, that’s interval.
Second half is literally packed with two goose bump episodes… one is fixing Mihira technical glitches and the second is extending the mission to Moon in the name of Operation Kinnera. In later portions, Aditi Rao’s failure walk to Mihira and Varun disappearing in space or building the National fervor to win the acceptance from ISC ground team for Operation Kinnera and the father-daughter sentiment scene, everywhere patrons are served to quality entertainment and decent thrill. Towards the climax, Varun losing in space, securing data from Viprayan generated the needful impact.
All in all, Antariksham is a well-made attempt from Sankalp, Rajeev Reddy, Krish, Varun Tej and entire team. If you can bear through the mid thirty to forty minutes of boredom, second half is so much promising to shower the appreciation. CJ goes with 3 stars rating to encourage the novel attempt. Box Office wise, Antariksham will be a fine watch for targeted multiplex audience.