Awe; Director: Prasanth Varma
Cast: Kajal Aggarwal, Nithya Menen, Regina Cassandra, Eesha Rebba, Priyadarshi, Srinivas Avasarala
Actor Nani’s latest production Awe stirs up curiosity for the way it was promoted without revealing the plot, especially with a debutant director at the helm and a few big names in its cast. The film introduces us to a series of characters who has nothing to do with each other. Radha (Eesha Rebba) who comes out confessing her love for a psychiatrist, Krishna (Nithya Menen) to her homophobic parents. Then, the scene shifts to a pretending to be chef Nala (Priyadarshi), who falls short of his expectations and is in pursuit of a job to make out a living.
He exchanges a dialogue with a goldfish (with Nani voice-over) and a bonsai tree (voice-over by Ravi Teja) in his restaurant kitchen. We also get to meet Shiva (Srinivasa Avasarala), a watchman and a wannabe scientist, who tries to build a time machine with a sole aim of time travel to meet his parents. He is a pro in Morse code too and strikes a pleasant conversation with a Persian guest. He was taken aback when he meets Parvathy (Devadarshini), who claims to be his other side from his past life. Then, we get to meet a distressed Kali (Kajal Aggarwal), who is mulling to end her life by committing a mass murder on her birthday. Also in the tale was a self-proclaimed magical wizard Yogi (Murali Sharma) and a waitress-turned-drug addict Meera (Regina Cassandra), who is set to loot a rich visitor at her cafe with her boyfriend.
As the story of Awe begins to unfold, one would expect it to be insightful with clever writing, fleshed-out characters and an engrossing narrative. But, it has very little to offer, gets a typical Tollywood treatment and is beyond its title. It is a kind of film that doesn’t drive the plot rather it’s focused on its characters, their actions and their relationships. The film touches upon many points like gender issues, child abuse, saneness and also tries to break the silence over the relationship taboo which has been existent in the society for decades now.
Newcomer Prasanth Varma tries to bring some freshness and energy into the standard category of Telugu films which either show a reunion of a loving couple in the last scene or the protagonist thrashing the goons to live happily ever after. However, the film gets flabby and frustrating towards the middle portions. When one expects the story to reveal something important, you are in for a great disappointment. You can’t help and feel involved in the tale, but may feel dejected at times for the way things turn out at a sluggish pace. The sudden shift in its genre makes you think about what happened in the last frame and how does the director connect all the dots in the end thus piquing interest.
The problem however is, if one sub-plot gets jagged, the entire narrative gets messed up and things go out of the place. This film is a testament to that belief, especially when the concept is a hailed as a ground-breaking one! Also, you have woven a story around seven sub-plots and when you don’t show emotions in any aspect how can there be some reliability to any of its characters? The film makes one wonder about don’t we live on with our frustrations in love?
Can’t you carry on in life if you don’t get what you want? Well, there is no answer and by the time you try to figure out one, you will see the end credits rolling! Overall, Awe leaves you with a mixed bag of emotions and it doesn’t suffice for the audience who crave for an engrossing tale. To say the least, at its heart, Awe is a refreshing film. Refreshing because of its spectacular performances, because of its interesting premise, because of Karthik Ghattamaneni’s outstanding cinematography and music composer Mark Robbin for his soulful score.
WATCH TRAILER HERE
— Murali Krishna CH