Earnest performances aren’t sufficient to carry collectively the Telugu movie ‘Ardha Shathabdham’, the place romance, caste strife and a dialogue on the Indian Structure don’t mix seamlessly

Ardha Shathabdham joins the string of latest Telugu movies the place the story unfolds in a less-explored inside area of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and mirrors the native milieu. Director Rawindra Pulle takes us right into a hamlet in Telangana (filmed in Nirmal and adjoining areas of Nizamabad) within the early 2000s, the place the fault strains of caste nonetheless run deep. He questions why archaic norms are adhered to even on the flip of the brand new millennium.

  • Ardha Shathabdham
  • Solid: Karthik Rathnam, Krishnapriya, Sai Kumar, Naveen Chandra
  • Course: Rawindra Pulle
  • Streaming on: Aha

It’s a related premise. When divisive forces are at work, a seemingly random incident is sufficient to stoke deep-rooted hatred and spark violence, as proven within the movie. Rawindra tries to ask why humanity can’t rise above caste divisions to uphold the tenets of the Indian Structure.

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The movie appears to be like on the social material points via its myriad characters — a former Naxal, a teenager within the throes of a romance and looking for job prospects in Dubai, a police officer who’s annoyed at having to hold out encounter killings, a politician who doesn’t flinch earlier than doing one thing unjust, and the villagers who’re caught up in their very own concepts of caste-based social norms.

All this may need appeared fascinating on paper, however doesn’t translate to a cohesive and absorbing narrative.

The opening sequence provides a glimpse of the fissures within the village, with a chieftain declaring that folks of a sure caste ought to proceed the work they’ve been doing over generations, and can’t dream of hovering larger. Oblivious to all that is the love-struck Krishna (Karthik Rathnam) who has been holding a candle for his childhood sweetheart Pushpa (newcomer Krishnapriya).

The primary hour or so belongs to Karthik and the music composer Nawfal Raja Asi. Karthik provides in to the naive innocence required to hold off his half and is efficient. The dreamy one-sided romance is intentionally languid in its pacing and the Chennai-based music composer accentuates it with tunes that change from the folksy to the filmi melodies; one music has an unmistakable resonance of A R Rahman’s ‘Raasathi’ (Thiruda Thiruda; 1993) although this one isn’t fully A Cappella. Although the music, the picturisation, and the lead pair are pleasurable to observe, little else occurs.

Without delay, newer and sophisticated characters which can be distraught with the methods of society or battling their internal demons, come to the fore. After an innocuous incident results in mayhem within the village, the narrative begins to meander.

A few of the scenes displaying the violence within the village look amateurish. And an excessive amount of occurs with out synergy. Cop Ranjith’s (Naveen Chandra) rage is comprehensible and so is the internal battle of former insurgent Ramanna (Sai Kumar). The dialogue between a high cop (Ajay) and the MLA (Sudhakar) on what the Indian Structure stands for and whether or not the killing of innocents will be justified, might have been an fascinating one. However it will get boring, like the remainder of the movie.

For probably the most half, the performing stays earnest and that’s the one saving grace. Krishnapriya is expressive and has a putting display screen presence. Naveen Chandra holds consideration each time he’s within the body, however one needs his character had been higher written. The identical goes for Sai Kumar and Aamani, whose presence might have been used even higher. A bunch of different actors, together with Ajay and Raja Ravindra, are wasted.

What Ardha Shathabdham lacks is a story with a beating coronary heart that might have made us root for the characters.

(Ardha Shathabdham streams on Aha)

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