Cast: Nani, Sudheer Babu, Nivetha Thomas, Aditi Rao Hydari
Director: Mohana Krishna Indraganti
Telugu cinema is still imprisoned in a time warp. Melodramatically theatrical and prone to exaggerated performances and narrating a story through long discourses and not visuals, it woefully lacks modern cinematic language. Amazon Prime Video's latest offering, V, helmed and written by Mohana Krishna Indraganti, calls itself a thriller with injustice and anger and revenge packed into it.
But a lot of the film's run time of 140 minutes is directed towards two love stories – one between Deputy Commissioner of Police, Adithya (Sudheer Babu) and Apoorva Ramanujam (Nivetha Thomas) as well as between Vishnu (the movie's title comes from the V in the name) and Saheba (Aditi Rao Hydari). These are so terribly digressing.
In one of the first scenes, we see a dashing and debonair Adithya in a bar drinking, when Apoorva (who is researching for a psychological thriller) joins him, befriends him. “You are hot”, he tells her! Unbelievable for a cop to be saying this in the era of #MeToo! Well, she does not take offence! And this is the beginning of a romance between the two with her helping him in his effort to crack the case of a serial killer, called Vishnu. The plot then runs into one blind lane after another.
Earlier, Vishnu had served in the Indian Army, but when his wife, Saheba, is killed in Hyderabad riots – a fallout of a conspiracy hatched by several men, he decides on revenge. With Adithya always one step behind the killer, the film turns into a cat-and-mouse chase. There is plenty of action with the Vishnu going for the jugular, using methods that are both gruesome and improbable.
But for some Indian movies, this is entertainment, and V lands into a cesspool of outright silly events. A cop is transformed into a hero. Well, okay. But to make a hero out of the villain appears ridiculous.
Hardly a weekend watch.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran is author, commentator and movie critic)