'Agadam' a Single Shot At Suspense, Well-executed
By Malini Mannath | Express Features | Published: 11th January 2014 10:07 AM |
Director: Mohamad Issack
Cast: Thamizh, SriniIyer,Bombay Bhaskar,Kalaisekaran, Sripriyanka.
Earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘longest uncut film’, Agadam had raised a lot of curiosity. Apart from the academic interest generated in being listed, would the single-shot film (of 123 minutes) offer more in terms of entertainment, one wondered. But debutant producer-writer-director Mohamad Issack has pulled it off.
With a team comprising a fresh cast, the director has managed to make a psychological thriller with a supernatural element in it that is interesting and suspenseful. The glitches are negligible and do not mar the entertainment value.
It needed great effort and focus to co-ordinate the action of both the actors and the cinematographer (Nauzad). A simple mistake like a wrong expression or movement could have negated the entire effort, leading to a retake from the beginning. But the debutant cast get into their roles almost making us forget that the camera was always at their heels.
The transition from scene to scene could have been jumpy, but the narration has a fairly fluid flow. Also by choosing a suspense thriller, the director has avoided the pitfall of his single-shot film having a docu-feel.
Shot with night effect, most of the action takes place in a deserted mansion and its surroundings. It is mainly the interaction among four men in the mansion, and a couple of women on the periphery. The film opens with the body of a woman being buried by three men in the dark woods near the mansion.
Two of them Sanjay and Ashok (Bhaskar and Kalaisekharan) run a pharmaceutical company selling baby tonics. The third Thamizh (Thamizh), a forensic expert, had helped them retrieve the body from the hospital to cover up a murder. A fourth man John (Srini) weird and sadistic, enters the mansion to strike a business deal with the duo. As the narration unfolds, mind games are played, with some of the characters mysteriously disappearing.
A story of crime and punishment, the camera at one moment pans over the poster of a baby on the wall which carries the words ,’ My parents are smart... After all they are my parents.’
There are the glitches. Like certain movements and actions being stretched or repeated. The twist in the end is appreciable, the climax well-crafted.
The film was made with a budget of Rs 45 lakh, says Issack the software engineer- turned- director. Commendable is his urge to do something different within the parameters of commercial cinema.
The Verdict: Innovative, Agadam offers a novel experience, and definitely warrants a watch.