LIE review: A thriller that lacks pace

A movie with excellent production values


By: J

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Friday 11 August 2017

Movie Title

LIE review: A thriller that lacks pace


Hanu Raghavapudi

Star Cast

Nithiin, Arjun Sarja, Megha Akash

Arjun Sarja (Padmanabham) is a man of deception. He changes his avatar and continues conning people. NIA (National Intelligence Agency) is behind Padmanabham for 19 years. But they do not know what he looks like. After long they get a lead that Padmanabham who is in Las Vegas now has ordered a coat from the old city of Hyderabad and with this small link they want to track the con man.

Chaitra (Megha Akash) like any other girl of her age has big dreams. One of them is to honeymoon in a romantic destination in the USA. Sadly her wedding gets cancelled and the honeymoon package is already booked. She decides to go to the US, sharing the package with Sathyam (Nithin), who is a good for nothing guy. Slowly romance blossoms between the two. From here we come to know that it is a series of lies. Sathyam is lying to Chaitra. What is that lie? How does he nab the man of deception? How is Nithin connected to the whole mission of NIA?

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After directing Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha, director Hanu Raghavapudi has teamed up with rising star Nithin. Hanu Raghavapudi has chosen an interesting plot for this movie titled LIE that stands for Love, Intelligence and Enmity. As the title says, it has a mix of three. There is 'love' – hero meets heroine when she is heading to Las Vegas and their love journey begins. There is ‘intelligence’- the games that villain play and the hero’s counter games are very intelligent. The' enmity' that hero has for villain has both personal and professional link.

Director Hanu Raghavapudi has used many elements in the movie that are quite good. He first begins the story with Arjun dressing up like a lady to escape from police officers. The scene establishes that he loves deceptions. He is called as master of deception. It also establishes that he has now escaped to the USA from Indian agencies. Then the director introduces the mythical characters Indra and Narada. Indra says he can make two different persons - a boy and a girl who meet in strange circumstances fall in love and get married thrice. The director uses both Lord Indra and Narada appearing in various roles to influence the romantic track. Thus we meet Chaitra, the girl who has many dreams and Sathyam who comes out of prison.

These various threads are nicely interlinked. The story of Chaitra, the story of Sathyam and the track of Padmanabham the master of deceptions all get interlinked. Chaitra till the end doesn’t know that she is involved in a major mission of the National Investigation Agency. This is a quite interesting part. Also, the villain and the hero only come to face to face in the end. Such interesting and novel threads and points the director has added but it takes the time to get noticed by the audiences as his narration is not as riveting as it should be.

There are not many complaints regarding the first half of LIE though the romantic track is dull. The problem arises when the movie moves to the actual point in the first half. The director should have completely done away with the love part as it has not matched to the core subject here. Despite the interesting main thread, the proceedings don’t excite in the second half for this reason.

The angle of a suit having some important data and an intriguing painting is planted rightly but this is told in a hurried way. Scenes that need to be told in a slow manner are told in a jiffy and the scenes that should be cut in a fast way are dragged on. The climax is very clichéd for a plot that is new.

Still, director Hanu Raghavapudi makes the movie interesting watch in parts for his story backdrop, the villain’s characterization and the excellent production values.

The highlights of the movie are the basic plot, the beginning portions, interval bang and play between Arjun and Nithin post interval.

Of the performances, Nithin and Arjun have both done a good job. Nithin has shined in a role that he has never done before. He has shined in mind game sequences. Arjun is 100 percent perfect for the role that has superior characterization. His mannerisms are good. Sriram as NIA officer is good too. Nasser is perfect. Ravi Kishan as NIA commissioner has done a positive role for the first time in Telugu. Heroine Megha Akash is okay but her role is poorly written.

Right from his first movie, director Hanu has been extracting best from technicians. Yuvaraj’s cinematography is top notch. He has shown the locations of USA in a different way and the filming of action stunts are also novel for a Telugu movie. Music by Mani Sharma is okay. Two songs are good. BG score is excellent. The editor has relaxed a bit as there is a lot of inconsistency in the pace of the movie. Art work and production values are superior. The producers have spent money lavishly.

As writer and director, Hanu Raghavapudi has shown his mark in many sequences.

LIE has an interesting storyline for a Telugu movie and has superior production values with stylized acts from Arjun and Nithin. The movie is a mixed bag as it offers riveting feel in the first half but the same tempo is missed in the second half. Watchable for its “spy” thrilling moments.

LIE review: 3 stars

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