Okka Kshanam: A taut thriller
An interesting romantic sci-fi thriller that delivers on its promise
Director Vi Anand's dalliance with unconventional themes continues as he hobnobs with yet another edge-of-the-seat thriller. With his romantic sci-fi thriller Okka Kshanam, he delves into the parallel life concept weaved around the conflict between love and destiny.
Cast: Allu Sirish, Surbhi, Seerat Kapoor, Avasarala Srinivas
Direction: Vi Anand
Anand takes us into the story of Jeeva (Allu Sirish), an engineering graduate and a Mathematics pro who has a way with permutations and combinations, but not with his penny-pincher father. For about 40 minutes, Anand seems to be in no hurry and follows a lethargic style of narration. As the plot slowly begins unfolding, the film gets refreshingly exciting.
The romantic track of Jeeva and Jo (Surbhi), an art student with a fractured ankle, begins in poetic fashion at the basement of a shopping mall. It’s one of those at-first-sight things that blooms when Jeeva catches a glimpse of Jo. Now Jo has a Bigg Boss like obsession to spy on others, particularly keeping a tab on the life of her neighbours -- a newly-married couple -- Srinivas (Srinivas Avasarala) and Swathi (Seerat Kapoor). This is where Jeeva discovers that his love life seems to replicate that of Srinivas and he makes efforts to piece together the puzzle. Will he succeed in changing destiny? What’s in store for him forms the crux of Okka Kshanam.
The film’s premise is really fascinating -- a parallel life where events happen at the same time as one another. The best part about the film is its riveting second hour. It’s in this hour the drama intensifies. Anand succeeds in connecting the dots to make Okka Kshanam a coherent story. However, one would expect the director to explore and justify the parallel-life concept rather than piggybacking on science and destiny. Had he been able to showcase it lucidly, it would have made for a better film. A few characters in the film, say Professor (Jayaprakash), suddenly disappear from the scene without having provided any value. So, too, is the case with a bunch of goons. Towards the end, the film falls into the usual trappings of commercial cinema and is devoid of thrills. The director sticks to the point without deviating much from the actual plot and packages it quite interestingly.
Mani Sharma’s background score is mellow and does the trick. The performances throughout are convincing. This is a role penned for Sirish and he is good at what he does and gives his best performance to date. Surbhi takes her role seriously and puts in sincere efforts. Avasarala Srinivas has nothing noteworthy to do, but he's played his part well in a brief role. Seerat Kapoor delivers a sparkling performance.
With diversity being the order of the day, the audience may find this film a whiff of fresh air. The film definitely gives you the high that you expect from a taut thriller.