Antariksham 9000KMPH Review: Despite the novelty, this ship flounders
While the storyline itself has issues, the detailing on the space elements is pretty much on point
The world is under threat of global communication failure. Only a genius, who refuses to get back into service, can save the day. Adventuring into space to make the country proud, this team of astronauts take up more than they can handle. But the 'hero' defies rationality to do what he set out to do. India is proud; Telugu matti is proud. Rejoice!
Anthariksham is a story where everything, despite always being on the verge of disaster, turns out alright. Riya takes it upon herself to bring back Dev, who is the only one that can salvage Mihira Sat. Dev, dejected with the failure of Viprayaan, has retired from service. Add to that, the death of his betrothed in a car crash as he drives irresponsibly while throwing orders for fixing Viprayaan’s issues. But all it takes is a light pep talk about patriotism and responsibility towards the nation for him to come back. However, only with the condition to go into space and do it himself, denying one of the four astronauts training for the mission their chance for glory. The mission begins and we find that Dev has another plan (read as conspiracy and personal agenda) in his mind.
Director: Sankalp Reddy
Cast: Varun Tej, Aditi Rao Hydari, Lavanya Tripathi, Satyadev
It is evident right from the first minute to the last that immense research has gone into the execution of this story. But the emotion that the film tries to evoke lacks gravity (pun intended). The hero, quite fittingly, seems to have a hero complex where he wants to defy reason to achieve what he sets out to do. He will go to the lengths of conspiring against the Space Station to go on a mission that wasn’t planned or prepped for to salvage “his baby” Viprayaan. Despite the heavy pep talk he gives the ground staff and his fellow astronauts about patriotism and pushing the envelope you can’t ignore the fact that what he does could be considered treason. Not to mention, endangering the lives of the other astronauts who hadn’t signed up for this.
A lot happens in Antariksham. Before you appreciate the fact that the film jumps into the story from the word go, you realise it’s only to accommodate all the things it has up its sleeve. Interestingly, all conversations in the film are either scientific mumbo jumbo or space metaphors or patriotic speeches. The film tries to build the tension and drama through countdowns, imminent collisions, lack of resources, but much of that just keeps you distracted. And yet, the makers found room to insert a moment of romance in space between Varun Tej and Aditi. Come on!
Antariksham 9000km/h is a commendable effort. But the anti-gravity tricks can’t mask the insipidity. All said and done, it certainly is a breath of fresh air to have someone attempt a space film in Telugu. While the storyline itself has issues, the detailing on the space elements--the spacecraft, astronauts, the missions, the groundwork--is on point. Watch it for the novelty of it.