On a one liner level Praana is a movie that should be made by film makers to voice their opinion against the ongoing intolerance towards writers and artists. There is no question of whether a movie which addresses that particular aspect of this social evil should be made or not. But the problem with this Rajesh Jayaraman script is its inability to blend that agenda with the horror treatment. With the help of names like PC Sreeram and Resul Pookkutty backing the project technically, VK Prakash has created a visually appealing movie that needed a script which was more gripping.
Tara Anuradha is a writer and her new book Music of Freedom was causing problems for the extremists. She believed in all kinds of freedom and the possible attacks made her shift to a house which is said to be a haunted one. She had an agenda to disprove the ghost story as well. So how that plan goes is what this under two hour long one woman show showing us.
Yes, the only prominent actor in the movie is Nithya Menen. VKP who always has an eye for making peculiar films this time chooses a movie that will have only one character. The film sort of sets up the premise in an engaging way mainly because of the technical quality it possessed. But by the time it reached the half way point, the predictability starts to seep in and in the second half the social responsibility factor gets introduced in a very flat way. The one character idea in many ways was restricting the movie in being impactful. The deviations this movie took post one particular point felt like distractions rather than shocking revelations.
Nithya Menen is the only actor here and she emotes perfectly to each moment. The lack of tension and concern her character has makes Tara a sensible fearless woman. For her Malayalam accent, Rajesh Jayaraman should have reduced the sophistication of dialogues. The dialogue delivery, especially for complicated dialogues was the only flaw one could sense in Nithya’s performance.
VK Prakash handles the technical aspects of the movie very impressively. PC Sreeram’s frames definitely bring a level of intrigue to the visuals. You will understand how wonderful his work is if you compare it with Sugeeth’s Kinavalli which was shot on the same location. Those hallucinating camera effects along with solid sound design do elevate the technical quality of the movie. What is problematic is the script. Rajesh Jayaraman’s script isn’t that convincing when it comes to the blending of the two different tones of the movie. The horror part is visually an appealing one. But the freedom of expression and anti intolerance part of it becomes mere verbal statements rather than being a cinematic statement with impact. And I don’t really understand how the freedom to die is an answer to intolerance. Aren’t you doing what they wanted you to do? The background score was nice.
Praana is only 107 minutes long and for that matter it is definitely a watchable film with solid technical attributes. If the script had the charm to blend both aspects of the agenda, Praana would have been a much better movie.
If the script had the charm to blend both aspects of the agenda, Praana would have been a much better movie.