'Antariksham' film review: This Varun Tej-starrer lacks gravity

Antariksham 9000 KMPH is a story where everything despite always being on the verge of disaster turns out alright.

Published: 22nd December 2018 01:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2018 12:22 PM   |  A+A-


A still from Varun Tej-starrer 'Antariksham'. (Photo | YouTube Screengrab)

Express News Service

The world is under threat of global communication failure. Only a genius who refuses to get back into service can save the day. Adventuring into space to make the country proud this team of astronauts take up more than they can handle. But the “hero” defies rationality to do what he set out to do. India is proud; Telugu matti is proud,. Rejoice!

Antariksham 9000 KMPH is a story where everything despite always being on the verge of disaster turns out alright. Riya takes it upon herself to bring back Dev who is the only one that can salvage Mihira Sat. Dev however, dejected with the failure of Viprayaan, which he calls “his baby”, retires from service. Add to that, the death of his betrothed who he crashes as he drives irresponsibly while throwing orders for fixing Viprayaan’s issues.

However, all it takes is a light pep talk about patriotism, and responsibility towards the nation for him to come back. And that too only with the condition to go into space and do it himself, denying one of the four astronauts training for the mission their turn to glory. The mission begins and we find that Dev had another plan (read as conspiracy and personal agenda) in his mind.

It is evident right from the first minute to the last that there was immense research that went into the execution of this story. But it is also evident not much later that the emotion that the film tries to evoke lacks gravity (pun intended). The hero quite fittingly seems to have a hero complex where he wants to defy reason to achieve what he sets out to do. He will go to the lengths of conspiring against the Space Station to go on a mission that wasn’t planned or prepped for to salvage “his baby” Viprayaan. Despite the heavy pep talk he gives the ground staff and his fellow astronauts about patriotism and pushing the envelope you can’t ignore the fact that what he did could be considered treason. Not to mention, endangering the lives of the other nauts who hadn’t signed up for his for pursuit of deliverance. 

A lot happens in Antariksham 9000 KMPH. Before you appreciate the fact that the film jumps into the story from the word go, you realise it’s only to accommodate all the things it has up its sleeve.

Interestingly, all conversations in the film are either scientific mumbo jumbo or space metaphors or patriotic speeches. The film tries to build the tension and the drama through countdowns, imminent collisions, lack of resources, but too much of all that just keeps you distracted. And yet, there was time to insert a moment of romance in space between Varun Tej and Aditi. Come on!

Antariksham 9000 KMPH is a commendable effort. But the anti-gravity tricks can’t mask the insipidity. All said and done, it certainly was a breath of fresh air to have someone attempt a space film in Telugu. While the storyline itself had issues, the detailing on the space elements - the spacecraft, astronauts, the missions, the groundwork, were pretty on point. Watch it for the novelty of it.

Movie: Antariksham

Cast: Varun Tej, Aditi Rao Hydari, Lavanya Tripathi, Satyadev

Direction: Sankalp Reddy

Rating: 2.5/5

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