An excruciatingly boring saga
By Suhas Yellapantula | Express Features | Published: 23rd November 2013 10:58 AM |
Cast: Anushka Shetty, Arya
Director: Selva Raghavan
Selva Raghavan’s Varna generated a lot of curiosity among the viewers with its graphics and colours. It also marks the return of Anushka Shetty in a female-centric role for the first time after the successful Arundhati in 2009. However, depsite the rather impressive use of technology and the overall visual treat, Varna fails to impress given its weak story line. Alternating between two stories, the director struggles to juggle between them, ultimately delivering a rather ordinary romantic fantasy.
Varna oscillataes between the real world and a fantasy land. Following the story of the titular character played by Anushka Shetty, Varna is an orphan girl who wants to become a warrior and fight for her kingdom. However, in a place where there is no respect for women, she is not allowed to take to arms and is instead taken captive by the King and thrown into the dungeons.
Meanwhile, Mahendra (Arya), who’s in love with the heroine, comes to her rescue. Back in the real world, Ramya (Anushka) is a doctor who falls for Madhu Balakrishna (Arya) and wants to marry him. Breaking the tradition of girls being proposed to, she approaches him and asks him to marry her.
Taken by surprise, Madhu refuses the proposal only to regret it later. Winning her back proves to be difficult as Ramya moves on and refuses to accept him again. The rest of the movie deals with how the two worlds collide and the ensuing course of events. Though the film packs a few surprises, at the end of it, you’re not really sure what the point of the movie is and just how many worlds you’ve been transported to.
Anushka and Arya flesh out their multiple characters pretty well, but that goes very little towards giving the audience an overall movie experience. Arya does a good job as the reserved maths professor in pursuit of the doctor as well as the brave warrior who fights tooth-and-nail for the girl he loves. Anuskha carries the movie on her shoulders with tremendous ease.
While the cast put in memorable performances, they were let down by the story line. With poor characterisations and just way too much happening simultaneously, the film fails to establish any foundation for the characters and their storylines. For instance, Madhu Balakrishna is first shown as helping a patient in the hospital. The next time, he is shown wearing a lab coat and an oxygen mask, and a little while later, he is a mathematics professor. All of this gets very confusing for the audience. The lack of a convincing chemistry between the two leads also doesn’t help.
What does work for the film are its visuals and excellent graphics. The background score by Harris Jayaraj was also spot-on, supported by a good cinematography.
Visually stunning, Varna alas has nothing further in the movie to grip viewers.