Kshanam is a well-made thriller which not only holds on to your attention but also entertains you for most of its runtime. There are a few issues here and there but it remains mostly on track. The film narrates the story of two star-crossed lovers Rishi and Shweta who are torn apart by a conniving and meddling nuisance of a father on the girl’s side. I hate these sorts of parents who ruin lives before dying and consider it to be their duty to get their daughters married off to men who they think is best for their daughters. The girl off course falls prey to her dying father’s blackmailing and does his will. The Guy leaves for the US.
Four years later, Shweta’s daughter is kidnapped under bizarre circumstances and she is unable to trace her. What’s worse is the fact that no one believes that the little girl ever existed. Helpless, Shweta turns to her long lost love who is living in US to come back to India and help her find her daughter. Rishi arrives in India and within days of his arrival, he comes to the conclusion that the girl might actually be a figment of imagination of Shweta. However just as he is about to join the rest who think that Shweta is crazy, something happens which turns the table on him and makes him question his own judgement. What happens next forms the crux of the narrative.
This is a very well made film. To start with, the cinematography is great. The mounting and the visuals of the film remain captivating and when you are watching a thriller of this sort, it does help a lot if it looks good. The narrative flows effortlessly through the scenes and you as the audience are never led astray. The performances are terrific. Adivi Sesh leads from the front. He has written the screenplay and story for this film and he knows the twists and turns and the subtle nuances of the character extremely well. It’s no wonder as he himself has envisioned the characters. He remains firmly on track and it is through his eyes that we see the whole story unfold.
Adah Sharma is great as the distraught mother. There are two distinct facets to her character. The flash back sequences show her as a self-sure and chirpy youngster while the present sequences shows us a more jilted and shaky version of her. There are many sequences where even the audience will question her sanity. That’s how the film is made and it does work well. Anasuya Bharadwaj plays ACP Jaya Bharadwaj, the officer who is helping Rishi track down the little girl. I loved her act. Not only does she ooze confidence, but has a layer of mystery associated to her character. Satyam Rajesh plays a cop who also happens to be the only comic relief of the film. He has a swagger to his role and in the end proves to be the most important character of them all.
All said and done, the final revelation on which this film banks is very lame. I really couldn’t accept the climax for what it turns out to be. Even though the film works fine till the last ten- fifteen minutes, the climax really leaves a lot to be desired. I cannot explain the problems without giving out key plot points and hence I will refrain from it but I honestly feel that a few more re-writes would have easily solved the problem. The motive behind the crime and the modus oprandi are just terribly out of place. I couldn’t find logic in what was done from the point of view of the perpetrators. This fact to a great extent brings down an otherwise well-crafted thriller. The film does take points from films like Flightplan starring Jodie Foster and a few others like it to draw in the audience into the mystery surrounding the fact that whether the girl actually exists or not but is unable to justify its climax. It also gives up the trump card a tad bit too soon.
This is a film which has been getting roaring praise from critics and movie goers alike but I have to differ to an extent. A thriller is only as good as its exposition and here that’s a major let down thus bringing down the rest of the film with it. Yes! The film does have some great performances and is beautifully shot and scored. The performances are actually the reasons that make you believe in the gloriously flat climax and that’s saying a lot about it. But as a thriller, this film fails in the end. But it is still a worthy one time watch for the great performances and the in-place technical finesse.
Rating : 3/5 (3 out of 5 Stars)