Screenplay and Direction
Technical Aspects and BGM
A fairly engaging thriller!
Anushka Shetty's Bhaagamathie is a fairly engaging thriller with adequately enjoyable twists and turns, especially in the second half. The writing of director Ashok, who has cleverly mixed a variety of genres ranging from horror to historical to thriller, makes the film a worthy watch.
Cast: Anushka Shetty, Jeyaram, Unni Mukundan, Asha Shareth
Editing: Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Story, Screenplay & Direction: Ashok
Produced by: UV Creations
Tamil Nadu Release: Studio Green
Run Time: 02:25:00
Anushka Shetty’s Bhaagamathie is a fairly engaging thriller with adequately enjoyable twists and turns, especially in the second half. Although the feeling of been-there-seen-that is likely for Tamil audiences, director Ashok’s well-constructed presentation makes it oblivious. The writing of director Ashok, who has cleverly mixed a variety of genres ranging from horror to period to historical to thriller, makes the film a worthy watch.
Detained for a murder case, IAS Officer Sanchala (played by Anushka Shetty) is taken to a secluded Bhaagamathie bungalow located in the middle of the forest for an interrogation by CBI, who is ordered by the Chief Minister to mount a smear campaign on Water Resources Minister Eshwar Prasad (Jeyaram). Sanchala was the personal secretary for the sincere and righteous Eshwar Prasad for his two consecutive terms in the ministry.
The first half moves at an unhurried pace for the initial few minutes before picking up steam when Anushka enters the bungalow, which is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Bhaagamathie according to the nearby locals. The effective use of audio-visual techniques to incite fear in audiences works to an extent in the night sequences shot inside the bungalow. Although R. Madhi’s camera angles appear as tailor-made horror-movie jump scares, he surprises occasionally with a handful of interesting frames. The background score of Thaman (one of his best efforts) is truly one of the solid highlights of the film and is the real strength next to Anushka Shetty.
The second half is where the film comes alive, with the unfolding of a moderately new twist on an old theme. It is director Ashok’s smartness in the writing that makes you sit through the film. The well-devised story-telling and rich production values square up the run-of-the-mill premise.
While Anushka Shetty as IAS Sanchala leaves you wanting more, her appearance as Bhaagamathie makes viewers sit up. The intensity in her eyes while the playing the latter and the calmness in her face while enacting the former is proof that why Anushka Shetty is one of the best-performing South Indian lead actresses we have. The other supporting cast, including the likes of Jeyaram and Asha Sharath, have rendered good performances and justice to their roles. Brownie points to director Ashok for taking a done-and-dusted core plot and attempting to delivering it with a conceit, which is built satisfactorily.