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Some Ramblings - Show
By Srinivas Kanchibhotla

Trend is often defined as a precursor to a cliché. A youthful movie becomes successful and the market is flooded with clones and drones; a vengeful movie strikes some chord with the audience and it is treated to different variations of the same blood and gore. Stranger it may seem, because not too many good movies find followers lining up in their paths. A "Siva" was followed by thousands of its minions (pramadha gaNaalu would be a better term), but a "Kshana Kshanam" had no takers. A "Nuvve Kaavaali" opened the floodgates to hundreds of unwanted adaptations, but a "Chirunnavuto" walked alone. Going by this simple sampling, one can fairly predict how "trends" would treat this new innovative movie named "Show".

More than the guts factor, which is required in sizable proportions, to embark upon a movie making adventure such as this, it is the audacity of the maker (Neelakantha) to believe in himself, and attempt at convincing the audience, that it does not need a few hundreds lakhs, a few foreign locales and hordes of characters, to get a point across. Well rounded characters, even without enough motivations behind their actions, but possessing a simple ability of remaining true to their characters without trying too hard to grab the attention of the audience and engross them, are some of the stand out points of these so-called "good movies".

More so in cases where the focus of attention shines on only on a handful characters, the terms sincerity, wit and innovation come into play at every twist and turn. When there aren't too many distractions bothering the audience with their smoke and mirrors act, every word that the character utters comes under the mental microscope and every step that the script takes comes into serious relief. Braving this minefield of a playfield, the maker (incidentally, the script writer too) made sure that the subject matter wasn't too abstract for the audience to understand, or too intricate for them to follow. This bravura performance, fittingly rewarded at the national level, deserves a sound round of applause, for its lucidity in flow and elegance in execution.


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If the entire movie is to revolve around two characters, and the setting is in and around a house, the cameraman has to think really hard to frame his shots to avoid repetition and bring out a sense that involves the audience in the proceedings. It is really easy to go overboard on such occasions and overdo the job, making the piece a little too self-conscious, while making the audience appreciating the craft and overlooking the material. Ravi Yadav, the photographer, who walks this thin line between creativity and exuberance, deserves kudos almost on par with the writer-director, for the unique number of ways he composed the different sequences in the movie. If at no point does the movie feel like a ultra low budget movie shot on a 35mm film, it is because of the inventive camera work that went beyond the call of duty of picturising the action of the movie, to the point of depicting the characters in a different angle, literally. Ravi Yadav certainly joined the ranks of a Govind Nihlani or a Ashok Mehta or a Balu Mahendra, for his fantastic work on Show.

One obscure category deserves some serious mention here. Sound mixing, that became a vital part of the movie, in the final act of the movie, was done with utmost attention to the detail elevating the mood of the characters and more importanly the tempo and the drama. The clarity of the sound and the ability to distinguish between the voices (with special mention to the voice that dubbed the lead character's wife's voice), which becomes a important part in shifting the gears, would not had been possible, but for the sharp ear of the mixer.

Surya - the one, who really infused life into the words and thus into the movie, with a tour-de-force performance, should become a serious contender to best actor Nandi, along with Prakash Raj (for Nuvve Nuvve). The way he relegated the female character (in a good way) to becoming just a wall to bounce emotions off, Surya, through his body language (going a little overboard at times, as dictated by the script), and emerged the sole winner from among the ones facing the lens, is a treat to watch and appreciate. One would seriously hope that this movie serves him as a springboard for better roles and even better Performances.

Lastly, if the movie pitch goes something on the lines of - "two characters try to kill some time engaging each other doing nothing but TALKING during a 5 hour period, holed up in a house, by staging a mock play which is in a reflective of the lead character's life" - the producer should either be completely ignorant or supremely confident about the abilities of the maker on pulling off, a risky proposition as this and Manjula proves that she belongs to the latter category. In the celluloid world, filled with dreamy characters occupying perfect worlds, where their only concerns revolve around expressing their love and winning over hearts, here is one that dares to be different that wins over the minds, for a change. We are ready with the three cheers, say when!

More Ramblings on Telugu films
Nuvve Nuvve

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This article is written by Srinivas Kanchibhotla
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