Behind the Movie Gaganam: Too many release postponements, Dil Raju’s lack of confidence, Nagarjuna’s belief in experimentation and finally with mixed expectations ‘Gaganam’ arrived in theatres. How efficiently did talented director Radha Mohan of ‘Aakasmantha’ fame dealt this bi-lingual project? Let us see…
In the Movie Gaganam: A Star Jet air plane bound from Chennai to New Delhi is hijacked by five terrorists. With nearly hundred passengers on the board, terrorist plan to travel all the way to Rawalpindi but a sudden technical snag paves for an emergency landing in Tirupathi and the drama begins.
Alerted Defence Ministry very soon sends the Home Secretary Vishwanath (Prakashraj) to deal the situation. Hijackers demand for release of International terrorist Yusuf Khan, an expert in Nuclear Science and Rs.100 Crore money. As the negotiations between Hijackers and Home Secretary continue, safety of passengers becomes a question and one of them is killed. On the other side National Security Guards Commando Ravindra (Nagarjuna) is roped in to get ready for a Commando Operation at any moment but unfortunately with a Central Minister in the Plane and Elections in next three months, Govt. refuses to give him the permission.
After 48 hours of discussions, finally Govt. succumbs to the demand of hijackers and release Yusuf Khan. On the way to Tirupathi, the Police truck is hit by an avalanche and Yusuf Khan is dead. Now, there is no way that hijackers can release the passengers and Ravindra is ordered to go for Commando Operation which is named ‘Operation Gaganam.’
With in this mean time, an anxious Media Reporter (Harshavardhan) enters the Airport as Police Officer and shoots the pictures of hijacked flight and leaks it to their channel about the death of Yusuf Khan in accident. Obviously, the frustrated hijackers demand to see Yusuf Khan alive. The clever Ravindra ropes in a popular hit film director (Brahmanandam) to shoot a clipping of hit movie and sends it to hijackers making them believe that Yusuf Khan is alive in Hospital. How did Ravindra succeed in his Operation from here on? Did he safeguard the interests of Government? form the gripping climax.
Values of the Movie Gaganam: Movies like Gaganam come once in a while. Though Radha Mohan inspired this hijack from Hollywood and especially Bollywood movie Zameen, the way he changed the feel to suit the South audience is commendable. Screenplay was tense and tightened at all the ends. Direction lacked the pace in first half but the last 30 minutes are more than enough to pull the movie on to a different level. Cinematography by Guhan captured the emotions steadily placing Camera in creative angles while editing by Marthand K Venkatesh is awesome especially in second half. Dialogues by Umerji Anuradha served to the situation but missed the Telugu feel and background score by Pravin Mani is superb. Production values of Dil Raju and team are appreciable.
Performance wise it is Nagarjuna and Prakashraj steal the show. Nagarjuna will be loved by audience as NSG Commando as the settled expressions, cool and composed acting without loosing the balance in all the scenes will win the hearts of Telugu audience. Hats off to Nag, an actor who strive for excellence and experiments. Prakashraj as Home Secretary is dazzling and his experience is enough to pull the character with dead ease and he has done it with command. Bharath Reddy as Nag’s assistant is good. Remaining Brahmi, Prithvi, Poonam Kaur, Sana Khan, Sri Lakshmi, Vijay, Harshavardhan, Baby Samreen, Melkote and others were right fit to their roles.
Out of the Movie Gaganam: It requires guts for a Producer to come up with this kind of off beat films which are always a question mark for commercial success. Radha Mohan should thank Dil Raju for giving him the freedom. Director took a span of less than two hours to narrate the entire story and he was at the task from very first minute. As the movie lifts for a take off, we get introduced to the casting in flight. The kind of characters that we see in plane shows the sensibilities of director. Particularly the little Muslim girl who got the heart surgery done is heart touching. Then till the final landing, entire 'Gaganam' is thrilling journey.
There was nothing laborious in the story to run the show and it was Screen Play that mattered which doesn’t let the movie slow down. Radha Mohan’s sheer professionalism in handling the emotional scenes was seen in ‘Aakasamantha’ and the same is repeated here. The interval bang and climax episode filled with anxiety will be loved by audience.
First half had few boring episodes and lag is clearly observed with unenthusiastic take off. Once story sets on the movie, there is no turning back and second half last thirty minutes is a brilliant work.
BO success of the movie is a doubt because we Telugu audience never encourage movies with out songs, dances and romance. For A class audience, 100% satisfaction assured while B & C Class audience might not be able to enjoy it wholeheartedly.
Cinejosh Verdict of the Movie Gaganam: Encourage Good Movies like Gaganam. Do watch it only in Theatres.
Reviewed by Srivaas