Cast: Abhishek Jain, Kavya Shah, Sumanth Bhat, Anusha Rodrigues and Bhaskar Ninasam
Director: Shiva Tejas
Are mobile phones a boon or a bane? In Loudspeaker, director Shiva Tejas takes a look at this over a decade-old debate except that he gives it a refreshing and realistic take. The story, written by Abhishek, revolves around how the entire world is taking advantage of technology. A film that comes with a simple story, revolves around a dangerous game, and in the end, a life lesson.
In brief, a few friends along with their spouse gather for a weekend dinner and decide to play a ‘Simple’ game, wherein every time any of them receives a call, it must be answered on speaker mode. In addition, every message or e-mail conversation has to be shared with all those present.
This leads to some hilarious moments and uncomfortable situations with each one getting to know their spouse’s inner secrets, which might not have been revealed otherwise. The twist comes when Kavya (Kavya Sha) gets to know about her husband’s extramarital affairs and goes missing from the house party. The group panics and land up at the police station. Why does Kavya go missing? Will they find her? What will be the aftermath of the game? With questions and worries, the audience is able to relate to the goings-on.
Shiva Tejas drives the film with the tech tool, at the same time giving it a realistic touch. The director, without getting preachy, actually throws light on how social media has changed the nature of human networking. There are times in the film when the audience sit up and think about how mobile phones and various social network platforms have empowered and made us so dependent on them. Will the film change the way people perceive and use technology?
A shout-out to dialogue-writer, Vijay Eshwar whose simple yet complex lines manage are thought-provoking but manage to bring a smile, laugh when it should. Comprising an ensemble cast, the film’s actors (Abhishek Jain, Kavya Shah, Sumanth Bhat, Anusha Rodrigues, Bhaskar Ninasam) manage to evoke the right responses and reactions. The film gets a good support from senior actor Rangayana Raghu. All the actors are relatable especially in the way they communicate with each other, use the phone at any given point in time, including meal times, and prefer virtual conversations over real-time ones.
For the film made on a shoe-string budget, the writer has been inspired by international films, but has written the script to suit Indian sensibilities. A bold move by Shiva was to get rid of unnecessary songs in the film. But, cinematographer Kiran Hampapura has very little to explore but for the interiors of the house, and police station.
The director’s parting thought: Are social networking sites a potent weapon? Are they destroying human values? Some real-time debates may answer these questions on situations that the virtual world has given rise to.