Film: "Aarakshaka"; Cast: Upendra, Sada, Raagini, Shahaji Shinde, Seetha, Rajesh, and Sharan; Producer: Krishna Prajwal; Screenplay Writer-Director: P. Vasu; Camera: P.K.H. Doss; Music Director: Guru Kiran; Rating: *** 1/2
It is believed that superstar Upendra's films are different - one cannot make a film with him by just adding a lot of commercial ingredients in the script and elements found in a mass hero film. Audience expect something different from Upendra and his recent release "Aarakshaka", directed by Veteran director Vasu who had earlier delivered big hits "Aaptha Mithra" and "Aaptha Rakshaka", lives up to their expectation.
"Aarakshaka" is a curiosity inducive film with intelligently written sequences and Vasu's script impresses despite the fact that as a director he has not shown such consistency.
Though the film is heavily inspired by Hollywood hit "Shutter Island", Vasu has given it a desi touch by adding comedy, songs, fights and emotions into the script.
"Aarakshaka" wins because the film keeps the audiences engaged. There is plenty of juggling between emotions and thrills in the script. Some interesting twists, mind boggling thrills and suspense will keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
The last 20 minutes is the best narrated part in the entire film.
Certainly Vasu has excelled in writing a totally out of the box script for the Kannada cinema. But Vasu failed to extract the best from the composer also, some comedy sequences do not gel with the film, and the first half drags.
The story is about Arun Kumar, a police officer, who has to find Stephen Raj, a witness to three murders. Arun suspects that Raj is hiding in a mental asylum as a fake patient and the doctors in the hospital are shielding him.
The hospital dean asks doctor Maya to assist Arun in solving the mystery of Stephen Raj. Whenever Arun tries to investigate Stephen Raj's past, he reaches a dead end.
Meanwhile, he reveals his past to Maya and says Stephen Raj is responsible for his missing wife. During the course of his investigation, Arun spots his look alike in the hospital and wants to find out the real identity of his look alike. The entire secret behind Aun's real identity is revealed in the climax as well as the mystery behind the three murders.
Upendra delivers a strong performance in both the roles he has played. His body language and mannerism are perfect. His dialogue delivery is another high point.
Raagini is good and Sada is also impressive.
Shahaji Shinde overacts, but Aadi Lokesh is impressesive. Seetha and Rajesh have played their respective roles aptly. Sharan's comedy irritates, but he has been able to raise a few laughs in some sequences.
P.K.H. Doss' camera work is exceptionally good. His superb craft can be seen by the way he has shot some visually spectacular outdoor scenes in Kerala. Music director Guru Kiran is inconsistent, but two songs - "Kalli kalli" and "Anna Hazaare" - are well composed and picturised. Editing work of Suresh Urs is top class.
"Aarakshaka" is an impressive film and can be watched despite flaws.