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Made in China Movie Review: Delivery in the time of Corona- Cinema express

Made in China Movie Review: Delivery in the time of Corona

Director Preetham’s take on human emotions during the pandemic is well-articulated, and his film deftly captures family emotions during the lockdown

Published: 18th June 2022

Covid-19 threw up a plethora of challenges for all industries, including the entertainment sector. This, however, proved to be a blessing in disguise for some directors to adopt an innovative kind of filmmaking. Among them was cinematographer-turned-director Preetham Thegginamane, who has directed the first virtually-made movie in Kannada. Titled Made in China, the film is mostly a conversation-driven family drama, and the narrative moves ahead through digital communication - either FaceTime or WhatsApp chat.

Cast: Nagabhushana, Priyanka Thimmesh, Ravi Bhat, Aruna Balraj, Ashwin Rao Pallaki

Director: Preetham Thegginamane

The story revolves around Abhiram Shastry (Nagabhushana), a techie, who is stuck in Wuhan, China, due to the pandemic outbreak. His wife, Mythili (Priyanka Thimmesh) is heavily pregnant, and Abhiram is trying his best to reach India and be with his wife. For the couple, digital communication becomes the only tool to bridge their long-distance relationship. How Abhiram tackles the situation to be with his wife during her delivery forms the crux of the story, which gives us a glimpse of an individual’s traumatic experience during Covid times.

The Malayalam film CU Soon (2020) was an inspiration for Preetham to explore digital technology. However, his first-hand experience didn’t come without challenges.

Preetham’s take on human emotions during the pandemic is well-articulated, and his film deftly captures family emotions during the lockdown. One should applaud the director for his attempt, despite the execution being casual. It comes across as a film captured on mobile and projected on the silver screen. Adding depth to the character arcs and layers to the relationships would have made for better viewing. The kind of emotions Abhiram goes through is heartwrenching. Otherwise, the rest of the conversations are mostly trivial.

The movie’s release could have been timed earlier when such digital meetings were the norm. Now, with the impact of Corona already being exhaustively captured by media, this film doesn’t really have the impact now. Nagabhushana usually keeps the audience in splits with his one-liners, but in this film, we see the emotional and serious side of the actor, and he does justice to the role. Other actors including Priyanka, Ashwin Rao Pallaki, Ravi Bhat, and Aruna Balraj have delivered convincing performances.

Honestly, Made in China is not meant for the big screen, and the makers should have instead opted for an OTT release. Even if it meant exclusive for the mobile screen!

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