Praana Review: a technically sound film with mediocre script
There is a basic agenda for VK Prakash’s Praana to raise voice against the rising intolerance against the writers and artists. Because of that, there is no doubt in one’s mind why this movie was created. But writer Rajesh Jayaraman delivers a script that can’t really blend the agenda and fantasy in the horror-driven theme. The enormously superior technical team of Praana gets a script that needed a lot more polishing.
A writer named Tara Anuradha is our central protagonist. She recently released a book named music of freedom and that irked controversy. Tara was a strong believer of having all kinds of freedom and the opposition she faced made her leave to a haunted house in a hill station. She took a break from the chaos and decided to make a big boss like a thing to disprove the existence of the ghost in that house.
Nithya Menen is the only actor in the movie with a prominent role. VK Prakash’s eye for experimental treatment has chosen this idea of exploring an ideology through just one character in Praana. The solid backup of technical support the film has makes the setting up process quite intriguing. But very soon into the 107 minutes long narrative, things will start to feel predictable and in the second half, there are too much of distractions. The lecture like outbreak of the main character by breaking the fourth wall was in a way a failure of subtle storytelling.
Nithya Menen as an actor has managed to give a real tone to the fearless writer Tara. She has the confidence the character demanded and carries the emotional vulnerability very neatly. The dialogue delivery was the only drawback in her performance and some of the criticism should be given to Rajesh Jayaraman for complicating the dialogues beyond a level.
Barring the script, VKP utilizes his resources very effectively. I think he has tried a lot to reduce the melodrama from the script. PC Sreeram also experiments with visuals that gave freshness and nervousness to the frames. That hallucinating effect of simultaneous zoom in and zoom out was a notable one. The sound design grabs almost every surround noise and helps the movie in having that intense atmosphere. Like I said already, the flaws are mainly in the script that has an agenda and a treatment which doesn’t go hand in hand. The technically stunning horror part and flatly written political agenda part weren’t in sync at all. And the final statement and act of the central character were problematic as she sort of surrenders to what the opposition wanted to achieve.
Praana is a watchable film mainly because of the technical positive facts. On a content level, the movie is half baked and needs a lot of rework to be convincing. If the writing was crisp the movie would have been more engrossing.
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