Film: Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo
Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Manjima Mohan
Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon
Rating: 3 stars
Sometimes an ordinary person who has never dealt with violence in his entire life, finds himself in a situation where he has no choice but to search for strength within him to fight against evil. Gautham Menon tries to showcase the unpredictability of life and how people can be a victim of circumstances, through his film Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo. The film, which starts off as a clean love story, transforms into an edge-of-the-seat suspense thriller. And if you can look past certain obvious flaws in the narrative, what you get is an entertaining film.
Naga Chaitanya is a casual youngster who has finished his education and is figuring out life and his future. Like any young man, he's always hanging out with his group of friends, playing carroms, riding bikes and talking about girls. His life changes when his sister's friend Leela (Manjima Mohan) comes to stay in their house. He instantly falls for her and they gradually become friends. Leela later joins him for a bike trip to Kanyakumari but just when everything seems to be going well, they meet with a major accident, which changes their lives forever.
Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo is a tale of two halves. While the first half is sweet romance, which you can sit back and watch with a smile on your face, the second half is full-throttled action. And yet, the transition between the two is seamless. Gautham Menon yet again shows his expertise when it comes to dealing with love stories. There is a sense of innocence with which Chaitanya pursues Leela, which is totally relatable. For instance, even though he's attracted to her from day one, the only exchange that the two of them have over the first few days is a simple 'hi'. Even when they both start speaking, they are shy and awkward, which makes it a joy to watch.
AR Rahman's music and background score, as ever, is brilliant and stays with you long after you leave the theatre. The music is well supported by the cinematography (Dan Macarthur does a fantastic job) and the road trip in particular is easy on the eye.
But while Gautham masterfully deals with the love story, there are glaring loopholes in his suspense story. For instance, almost immediately after being involved in a life-threatening accident (how he survives is a shocker), Naga Chaitanya single-handedly (quite literally, cause one of his hands is fractured) bashes up two armed and powerful goons.
The manner in which a group of goons, aided by a police officer (Baba Sehgal) shoot a barrage of bullets inside hospitals, main roads and residences, is laughable. The fact that the lead pair run into trouble (and escape it) wherever they go, is also far-fetched. Most importantly, after the entire plot is kept under wraps, when it's finally revealed, the result is underwhelming. To Gautham's credit, he keeps the element of surprise intact. While it may be unrealistic, it's engaging nonetheless.
The casting of Naga Chaitanya for a role like this was spot on, and the actor delivers one of his finest performances till date in Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo. He brings in the shy, subtle flavour to his love story almost effortlessly, and never looks out of place during the action sequences. Manjima Mohan makes a stellar debut as Leela, and displays her range of emotions in a well-chalked out character. Baba Sehgal does well as the bad cop.
A love story-turned-suspense thriller has a bit of everything in it and despite its flaws, Gautham Menon ensures that the viewers are entertained.
Our verdict: Watch it with an open mind and you will enjoy it. Keep your expectations in check and you will not be disappointed.