Navarasa Review: Project Agni - This Karthick Naren fails to evoke any real sense of wonder
Project Agni feels like a pretty strange discussion of a few ideas that often populate the Nolan universe.
Soon as Krishna (Prasanna) asks Vishnu (Arvind Swami), “Nethu dhaan Interstellar padam paathiya?”, I suppose we should have known. He even helpfully adds, “I know you are a huge fan of Nolan…” He might as well have been talking about the director, I suppose, given that Project Agni feels like a pretty strange discussion of a few ideas that often populate the Nolan universe.
Rasa: Adbhutha (Wonder)
Director: Karthick Naren
Cast: Arvind Swamy, Prasanna, Poorna
Streaming on: Netflix
There are lots of ideas thrown about in what feels like a rather forced conversation between Krishna and Vishnu. Something about an alien race, something about astrology being accurate, something about computer simulation, something about a dream world being destroyed, something about time being a separate dimension… And perhaps because Vishnu has also recently watched Inception, we get something about going deeper into the subconscious, something about taking a leap of faith …
And there’s even more in this half-hour film, but I’ll save you from it. Bandying about such concepts is often mistaken for ambition, when true ambition is really deep exploration. For this reason, this film fails to evoke any real sense of wonder—the theme of this film. The film tells you that the journey Vishnu takes into his subconscious is called a ‘drift’, and at one point, Krishna asks, “How do you know when you are not in a drift?” I murmured, “Totem, of course.” But perhaps because that might have been too obvious an inspiration, this film doesn’t quite go there. Truth be told, it goes nowhere. And the late cursory twist only makes you drift off.