Falaknuma Das Movie Review: Vishwak Sen's debut directorial fails to strike a chord
It’s a sloppy ride where everything from characters to dialogues seems inconsistent and is lacking in nail-biting tension
Vishwak Sen, who played one of the leads in Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi, has turned director with Falaknuma Das, the Telugu remake of the Malayalam film, Angamaly Diaries. Set in old (Hyderabad) city backdrop, the film revolves around a fearless and short-tempered Das (Vishwak Sen) and his cronies, who as school goers idolise local goon, Shankar Bhai. Das grows up to become a leader and forms Falaknuma gang with an idea to take up any challenge under the sun. They pick up fights for petty issues, relish food, booze and are keen to run a mutton business. Things take an unexpected turn when Shankar Bhai is killed by his own people and the rest of the story is about how Das fights all odds to pursue his passion.
Director: Vishwak Sen
Cast: Vishwak Sen, Saloni Mishra, Harshita Gaur
Vishwak has chosen the perfect film for his directorial debut, one that is sensitive and has a genuine regional flavour. He has localised the original story by replacing the business of pork with mutton and used the Telangana dialect to perfection. But what surprises me is that there are no traces of the lucrative mutton business escalating violence between gangs in the city.
Remakes are notorious for not doing justice to the original. Angamaly Diaries touched all the right chords because it was executed convincingly. Its premise was relevant and one felt connected with its characters. I did not expect Falaknuma Das to improve upon that. But it fails to even match the original because it lacks soul. It’s a sloppy ride where everything from characters to dialogues seems inconsistent and is lacking in nail-biting tension. The narration doesn’t keep our interest in the drama alive. There's no visual flair to the storytelling and the film has too many glaring flaws. The second half especially gets too boring and all we're left with is the feeling of having had some flavourless and aromaless mutton biryani.
Vishwak, who looked promising in Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi and Vellipomakey, hasn’t lived up to the expectations, both as an actor and as a director. However, Tharun Bhascker, who made his acting debut with Mahanati, impresses as a cop. As does Uttej, who springs a surprise with his performance, and is an asset to this otherwise insipid film.
While Vivek Sagar's music and background score match the narrative and are adequate, it is Vidya Sagar's camera work that stays true to the film’s premise. Deserving particular praise is his magnificent use of lighting and colour, which breathtakingly captures the old city's gorgeous topography in all its splendour. If only the film had lived up to the potential of its cinematography. But alas! Falaknuma Das fails to touch our heart and doesn’t offer anything new to write home about.