On a concept level, Luca directed by Arun Bose had the scope to be a very compelling thriller with the layers of a love story and a criminal investigation. And it does become that eventually. But the path taken for that takes a lot of detours and distractions, diminishing the charm the movie deserved. Even after having that warm chemistry between Ahana Krishna and Tovino Thomas, Luca feels sub-par in terms of feel.
Massive SPOILER ALERT! The movie itself opens with an unexpected twist. So skipping that in a review is a really difficult task. The movie is about the life of an artist named Luca. Luca was a free-spirited young man who led a happy life. He had his own close circle of friends. But one day this young man dies and people close to him were shocked. The movie shows us who Luca was through the investigation done by a police officer who smelled something fishy in a seemingly simple case of suicide.
Like I said in the beginning, the movie has multiple layers. One is that of an investigation, the other one is that of a love story and the third one is of another love story influenced by the previously mentioned love story. Out of the three, only the primary love story works in favor of the film Luca and that too mainly because of the effortless performance by the lead pair. The investigation and the investigator’s story just don’t have a finesse to make it feel like a gripping watch. And a major reason for that is the writing that is so stiff and it also tries to spoon-feed the audience about everything. The police and investigation have gone through an evolution in Malayalam cinema but sadly Luca wasn’t admiring that evolution.
Tovino Thomas in his usual style makes Luca a believable and likable character with flaws and vulnerabilities. Ahana Krishna was also really good as that understanding girlfriend with a baggage of a lot of internalized pain. The chemistry between these two is really warm and that does play a huge role in making that part of the movie somewhat endearing. Nithin George who played the role of Akbar was finding it difficult to emote properly and it was hard to feel any sort of empathy towards that character. Vinitha Koshy, Rajesh Sharma, Pauly Valsan, Chembil Ashokan, Srikanth Murali, Anwar Shereef, Sooraj S Kurup, etc portray the other major characters in this movie.
Arun Bose definitely has a sense of visual storytelling and some of you may end up liking this movie majorly because how beautiful it looks, thanks to the beautiful cinematography by Nimish Ravi and also the fitting production design. Where this movie suffers is in the writing department and for every movie, the writing is the backbone and if that is suffering, sugar coating the content with visuals and music won’t help in bringing the totality. In the investigation chapter, there is too much of detailing in the conversations. Nithin George was struggling to give heft to the character and that part of the script and the flat and wide dialogues just made it duller. In the Luca story, you can sense the writers struggling between establishing the character as a rebel and also showing his personal side. And that leads to a bloated feel to the script. The visuals are eye candy and intense and the Sooraj S Kurup style of music really gives depth to the movie. The editing department also tries hard to bring intrigue to the narrative, but sadly it wasn’t happening at the desired level.
After watching Luca, one won’t wonder why they went ahead with this kind of an idea. On paper, it’s a really interesting concept and my feelings after watching the film was that it should have been a little more gripping. A tidier script would have made Luca a compelling thriller.
On paper, it’s a really interesting concept and my feelings after watching the film was that it should have been a little more gripping. A tidier script would have made Luca a compelling thriller.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended