118 Review: A decent thriller, engaging in parts
Nivetha Thomas steals the show with her brief but all important role in 118. Kalyan Ram as investigative journalist is neat
By: J Gudelli / Telugucinema.com
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Friday 1 March 2019
K V Guhan
Nandamuri Kalyan Ram, Nivetha Thomas, Shalini Pandey, Rajeev Kanakala, CVL, Prabhas Sreenu, Hari Teja, Geetha Bhaskar
Gowtham, an investigative journalist, decides to track down the whereabouts of the girl who keeps coming into his dreams when he’s staying in a hotel in room number 118. His journalistic investigation doesn’t help much to unravel the mystery of that girl though he comes to know her name. She is Aadhya (Nivetha). Using lucid dreaming techniques with the help of a doctor (Nasser), he gets to see what happened to Aadhya.
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118 is popular cinematographer K V Guhan’s debut film as director and he has chosen to tell us a story that is largely familiar to us. The packaging is what makes the difference thanks to the concept of ‘Lucid Dreaming’. The film begins with the hero dreaming of a woman getting beaten brutally. The investigative journalist doesn’t waste time to find her whereabouts. He succeeds in tracing the girl and her photograph, her father and friend. However, he fails to get to the core mystery. This is then the director introduces ‘Lucid Dream’ technique which gives the movie a novel angle.
What holds the interest in the film is not the big twist, but the travel to it. When we get to know the story of Aadhya, we feel totally disappointed as this angle has been presented in umpteen movies, more importantly in Tamil movies which were dubbed into Telugu.
Despite disappointing flashback, the movie, on the whole, gives us an okay feel.
But the film has too many loop-holes and predictable sequences. The director has little understanding of journalism or police system. The hero just goes all out to solve the case as if he is a CBI officer and everyone provides him information without any hesitation.
Kalyan Ram as investigative journalist is neat. It is Nivetha Thomas who steals the show with her brief but all important role of a girl who has a goal to serve the society. She is the pivot around which this movie is set. Shalini Pandey of Arjun Reddy has no role at all. Prabhas Seenu as Kalyan Ram’s friend, Rajeev Kanakala and Hari Teja as Esther are okay. The sequences involving Geetha Bhascker (who plays Kalyan Ram’s mother) and Shalini Pandey (his fiancé) are quite mediocre.
Production values are good. Director Guhan has written tight screenplay. Slim runtime is the major asset.
118 is a decent thriller that is engaging in parts. The generally fast-paced investigative thriller that talks about lucid dreaming may appeal if you keep expectations undercheck.