When we talk of horror films, any film lover would immediately remember Ramsay Brothers. They are really experts in making horror films. There are films which really made the audiences frightened at least for a few seconds in certain scenes. Though Ram Gopal Varma also had a passion to do horror films, he could not do so like his predecessors. Very recently, he brought out a film in Hindi called ‘Phoonk’. He boasted that he would present a few lakhs if any one dares to watch the film alone without getting frightened. But, in reality it was proved that it is not so horrifying a film. The same was now remade in Telugu as ‘Raksha’ with his protégé Vamsikrishna Akella wielding the megaphone. For a debutant, the film is quite extraordinary, but for the audiences, it is just an average flick.
Rajeev (Jagapatibabu) is a builder. He has a lovable family with wife Arthi (Kalyani) and children Raksha (Neha) and Rahul (Atul). His mother (Radhakumari), who is a strong believer in God and evil spirits, also lives with Rajeev and family. The granny used to narrate devil’s stories to the children and it has its impact on the children. Surprisingly, Rajeev doesn’t believe God or evil spirits, though Arthi keeps praying God everyday. Once, the site in-charge in his project finds the idol of Lord Ganesha and pleads with Rajeev to build a temple for the God, but the latter refuses to do so as it causes loss to the project and at the same time, he had to change the entire lay out. Being a man with kind heart, Rajeev gives job to his friend Venu (Rajiv Kanakala) and his wife Madhu (Satyakrishnan), but they cheat Rajeev and causes loss to him. Learning about this from his partner Vinay (Subbaraju), Rajeev necks both them out of job. Rajeev’s family gets frightened with some bad omens (sakunaalu) like bone with lemons, crossing of
cat before their vehicles. But, Rajeev fails to believe those things. Once, Rajeev and Arthi find that Raksha is bunking classes and they find her alone in a secluded place. Later, she starts behaving indifferently. Rajeev takes Raksha to doctors and psychiatrists but none of them were able to diagnose the disease. However, Rajeev’s mother claims that it is nothing but Chatabadi (blackmagic). Unable to watch the suffering of Raksha, Vinay pleads with Rajeev to meet a sorcerer for a chance. With lots of love towards his daughter, he agrees and both of them meet Sanatan Baba (Pradeep Rawat). The baba, reveals the past experiences faced by Rajeev’s family and made him to believe that he has powers. Who applied black magic to Raksha? Did Rajeev was able to save his daughter? Did he continue to remain an atheist or turn a believer? What steps he take to save his daughter? Did the problem faced by Raksha is hysteria kind of disease or blackmagic? Answers to all these questions form part of the climax.
Jagapatibabu gave an excellent performance in the film, and he really lived in the role of a caring and loving father. His performance was very natural and he emoted well and lived in the scenes involving sentiments. His body language is simple and appealing. Kalyani played his wife. She too did complete justice to her role which had different shades like a wife, a mother and as a woman who strongly believed God. The character had a lot of scope for performance. Another highlight of the film is the performance by Pradeep Rawat. Though he appeared for a relatively short role in the film, he did a fantastic job. His character was also etched well by the director. Comedy by Melkote, and Jeeva’s role as a confusing doctor were also good. Rajiv Kanakala and Satyakrishnan had a very less role to play.
The screenplay penned by director himself is appealing. It had all the ingredients for a horror film. Another notable technician is the background music by Amar Mohile. The sounds really elevated the mood of the film. Cinematography is okay in the movie and most of the film was shot in night mode. However, the director could not avoid repetition of certain scenes in the film. These repetitions tested the patience of
audiences. However, the director was able to maintain suspense by swapping the characters of Rajiv Kanakala and Subbaraju. While the former is known for soft and friendly roles, Subbaraju is known for doing small-time villain roles. This had helped the director to confuse between both the characters and he made everyone believe that Subbaraju is the villain. Screenplay by Bhanodaya is okay. The director should have concentrate a little more in establishing the characters of Rajiv Kanakala and Satyakrishnan.
The film is loosely based on Tulasi and Tulasi Dalam a novel penned by Yandamuri Veerendranath some time ago. The first half of the film is okay in its movement, but the second half is too slow. Baby Neha should be complimented for giving a very good performance. As a whole the film is just an okay movie for one-time watching.
CAST AND CREW
Cast: Jagapatibabu, Kalyani, Thota Neha, Atul, Rajiv Kanakala, Subbaraju, Pradeep Rawat, Narsing Yadav, Chandrasekhar, Melkote, Jeeva, Roy, Veerendra Chauhan, Subash, Jayasudha, Radha Kumari, Satyakrishnan, Bhargavi, Anuradha.
Credit: Cinematography – Surjodeep Ghosh, Editing – Bhanodaya, Background score – Amar Mohile, Dialogues – Jeevan Reddy, Art – Muralidhar, Action – Satish, Producers – Chandrasekhar, Vijayalakshmi and Suryavathi, Presents – Ram Gopal Varma, Screenplay and direction – Vamsikrishna Akella.
Banner: One More Thought Entertainments & Zed 3 Pictures
Released on: September 19, 2008
2.5 out of 5
Review by Aparichithudu