Thursday, 29 November 2018

RX 100 (2018)

[*** stars / *****] 

In the village of Godavari, a village don's right hand, Shiva (Kartikeya Gummakonda), falls intensely for the rival don's feisty daughter Indhu (Payal Rajput). The bitter rivalry causes the two to separate. 

Three years pass and Shiva, now a bearded, desperate lover, waits restlessly like a mad man for Indhu to return... 

RX 100 has a usual, linear formula-ridden romantic storytelling pattern in its first hour. 

Somewhere from its 55th minute, the telling branches away from the usual to make it a deviant tale of lust, love, obsession and tragedy. 

The underplayed cuts of the beloved Yahama RX 100 motorbike are nicely layered to this 'different' love story. 

There are risque bits too, especially in Indhu's wooing of Shiva, but the main tale thankfully takes centre-stage in RX 100.   

Lately, Telugu films are finally melding art and a faint faraway whiff of something remotely cinema into their otherwise hero worshiping, flesh-baring, navel-fondling narrative.

RX 100 does have some body objectifying scenes too, thankfully it doesn't mar the narrative.   

Arjun Reddy (2017) was among the first noticeable films to stand out last year, followed by Rangasthalam (2018). 

RX 100 stands out in parts as a cautionary tale on casual sex, unconditional love and sexual complexity. 

If you still fall for Payal Rajput as I did, you only have yourself to blame. 

Though a tad long, RX 100 is a good watch, a sturdy, well-made commercial entertainer. 

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Imaikkaa Nodigal (2018)

[*** stars / *****] 

Random people in Bengaluru are kidnapped and brutally killed by a serial killer (Anurag Kashyap). The killer claims to be Rudra, the same serial killer allegedly shot dead by CBI officer Anjali (Nayantara), some years ago. 

A genius hacker who leaves no traces of his whereabouts, Rudra taunts Anjali to stop the killings. Meanwhile, Anjali's brother Arjun (Atharvaa) is still recovering from a breakup with Krithika (Raashi Khanna). Unknown to Anjali, Arjun and Krithika,  Rudra has devilish plans for the three.    

Imaikkaa Nodigal has a plot with convincing twists and a show-stealing performance by Anurag Kashyap (voice dubbed by Tamil director Magizh Thirumeni). Nayantara is good, Atharvaa and Raashi Khanna play their supporting acts sportingly. The mercurial Vijay Sethupathi is damn good in a short cameo.   

The makers are guilty of abandoning logic and believability at times, as many Tamil mainstream movies do so often. Songs mar the pace, add no layers to the story. 

The razor-sharp editing and the lead performances ensure that Imaikkaa Nodigal (Blinkless Seconds) holds together as an emotionally exploitative mass audience targeted crime thriller. 

If Imaikkaa Nodigal is worth a one-time watch, the bearably sane and not too obvious storytelling and screenplay by director R. Ajay Gnanamuthu is a factor too.