Nayaki review: A tedious watch

Nayaki review: A tedious watch

Source: General


Critic's Rating: 3/5

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Movie Title

Nayaki review: A tedious watch



Star Cast

Trisha, Sathyam Rajesh, Sushma Raj, Brahmanandam, Jayaprakash, Ganesh Venkatraman

Nayaki, the horror-comedy written and directed by Govi (Govardhan Reddy) of Love You, Bangaram fame, is here in theaters As the film begins, two newsreaders (one in 1980 and the other one from present day) report about missing persons in a deserted place at Dundigal. Over the last three decades, scores of males (note this point) have gone untraced, but the mystery has remained unraveled. Enters Gayathri (Trisha Krishnan), looking calm and relaxed, but also chirpily humming Sridevi's 'Sirimalle Puvva' in the haunted bungalow that is aesthetically decorated in romantic red.

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On the other hand is narrated the story of Sanjay (Sathyam Rajesh), a filmmaker with a penchant for horror flicks, and an inclination for gloating about his harsh ways of treating evil spirits. He is cheating on the honest Sandhya (Sushma Raj), who wants to confess her love tonight. Meanwhile, a suspicious looking old man (played by Jayaprakash) is watching Sanjay from a distance. That very night, the oldie lays a trap. Sanjay, whose intention is to lure Sandhya into sleeping with him in his friend's guest house, is trapped along with the girl in Gayathri's haunted house.

Even after a dreadful night, the creatively funny spirit (who concocts characters out of thin air and enacts a play that borders on the spoof) doesn't give hints about her mission.

By interval, she makes it clear that her idea is to play games with Sanjay.

The games that Nayaki plays with Sanjay and Sandhya are childish, much like the film itself. Director Govi is inspired by Prema Katha Chitram in no small measure (perhaps owing to his association with Maruthi Talkies in the past). The story line bears some resemblance to that of the Chitram Bhalare Vichitram (which was released in January this year), although Nayaki is technically far superior .

Trisha's character is way too sketchy. The flashback episode needed mature writing because it culminates in the invocation of the divine Shakti in the mission of eliminating rapists/lecherous lover boys and all. Out of nowhere, the divine chooses this duped wannabe actress's soul to take on vulgar men. Why? What is her eligibility? Leaving that aside, why does this goddess-incarnate-spirit-in-disguise aimlessly play pedestrian games with Sanjay and Sandhya? Yes, that is because her unfulfilled desire of being an actress expresses itself in such crazy games, but where is the sense of proportion when a good deal of screen time is wasted in teaching lessons to a character who could have been partnered much earlier?

The first half is liberally peppered with crazy comedy featuring Sathyam Rajesh and Trisha, and seen as moments in themselves, these scenes manage to elicit good laughs. Rajesh deserves a pat for getting the comic timing right, and carrying the burden of elevating Trisha's character on his shoulders. Lines like "Raktham choosthe Ram Gopal Varma expression aina anthe" are hilarious. The graphic work in these portions is good enough. The spirit can be seen only through the camera - a good idea, again.

The screenplay goes for a toss after it becomes clear that the spirit is into doing more of the same, rather than scaling up for good. So much so, it appears that the Nayaki-on-a-leisurely-rampage in the confines of a mansion could have lived as comfortably even without the fulfillment of her desire through Sanjay's intervention in the climax.

As ideas go, the spoofing of the melodrama of the Telugu cinema of a bygone era (complete with wife Kovai Sarala, a Jagayya-style hubby, and a too-mawkish servant) is rib-tickling. On the other hand, one is at a loss to understand the rationale behind the entry of an unfamiliar comedian (calling himself Megastar of chicks) in the second half. The element makes it clear that the director is stretching things too much as there is no plot in place.

Trisha is a dexterous artist, but here the character-writing robs her of any opportunity to deliver a substantial act. She is given a short-shrift in a screenplay that oscillates between disproportionate buffoonery and half-hearted gravitas. Nevertheless, she looks beautiful when she is clad in vintage costumes. One feels the idea of generating comedy through her at all times (except in the flashback), including in the climax, was the last straw that broke the camel's back.

Sathyam Rajesh, once again, stands out. He is evolving as an actor. Watch him getting scared, watch him assuming the role of Mr. Dark N' Handsome. His scared-like-Sapthagiri act will fetch him marks. Sushma Raj is a surprise package. She looks very soft-spoken, and sensitive as the role demanded. Ganesh Venkatraman (of Akasamantha and Damarukam fame) gets a meaty role in the flashback. Jayaprakash (who recently played Nadia's brother in A Aa) is good, barring his 'Assarava' act.

If Raghu Kunche's songs pass muster, Sai Karthik's BGM is way better. The cinematography and CGI work are OK. Director Govi has failed again to make an interesting horror-comedy.

Nayaki is a horror-thriller where comedy and parody dominate than thrilling moments. Also the film is dominated by comedian Satyam Rajesh than the lead actress Trisha. The director's weak narrative skills and lack of creativity make the movie a tedious watch.

Nayaki review: 1.75 stars

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