Directed by debutant Chandoo Mondeti, Karthikeya is a supernatural thriller starring the Swamy Ra Ra pair Nikhil Siddhartha and Swathi Reddy in lead roles. With music by Sekhar Chandra, the film's plot is based on an unexpected series of deaths nearby the premises of a historic temple.
Directed by debutant Chandoo Mondeti, Karthikeya is a supernatural thriller starring the Swamy Ra Ra pair Nikhil Siddhartha and Swathi Reddy in lead roles. With music by Sekhar Chandra, the film's plot is based on an unexpected series of deaths nearby the premises of a historic temple. less
“Karthikeya is a decent thriller with an engaging storyline. Crisp editing, skilled cinematography and good performances compensates for a lagging second half. One time watch. ”
Chandoo Mondeti's debut effort tries to interweave an interesting science versus religion debate into a thriller to narrate an interesting story. Nikhil plays Kartik, a medical student, with an inquisitive mind. Nikhil arrives at Subramanyapuram, with his classmates for a medical camp. Subrahmanyapuram is known for a temple that has been closed down a year ago, after a series of unfortunate deaths. The temple, which attracted plenty of tourists from around the country, because of a mysterious phenomenon, where on Kartika Pournami, the whole temple would bathe itself in white light, was now a source of fear, given how anyone who was enquiring into the mysterious deaths would meet with the same fate himself.
Eventually, Kartik chances upon a half-completed book on these mysteries and given how he had an atheistic bent of mind, sets upon finding more about the temple, to unearth the mystery. What happens thereafter and how a mix of man's greed and god's plans lead him to the vortex of the spiral makes for the rest of the movie. Swati plays Valli, Kartik's love interest, the love story playing out a la Kismat Connection(Shahid and Vidya Balan) where Kartik's luck gets a boost, every time she is around.
Karthikeya has two strengths - Nikhil's acting and Karthik Ghattamaneni's camera work. Nikhil is versatile and drifts effortlessly between a guy in love and a guy tormented by curiosity. Rao Ramesh as Endowments Officer has couple of good scenes. Swati's role is not in any way different from her role in Swamy Ra Ra, where most of the scenes picturised on her are around how the hero romanticises her image. Kartik's friends offer some comic relief, without overdoing it, thankfully. The movie is obviously not for those interested in romantic comedies. Nevertheless, it offers a decent break from the recent spam of rom-coms, by giving you something slightly different.
The camera work for example, manages to create suspense and thrill the audience while also beautifying the romantic sequences between the lead pair. Some VFX elements have been added to accentuate the movie. Most of the story plays out in a haunted bungalow and a temple and lighting was used well to create the aura around the bungalow. The script although not something new will pique the audiences just about enough. What was missing though, was the perfect climax or ending. The director seemed to be in a hurry to finish the movie, which was already short at just about 2 hours. It ends almost abruptly with the mystery revealed. At times, the movie seems to lose pace and meander along due to unnecessary elements, something that thrillers should usually avoid. Sekhar Chandra's music is an asset to the movie with couple of good romantic melody numbers.
All in all Karthikeya is not a great film, but not a bad film either. Actors like Rao Ramesh and Tanikella Bharani were under-used and the plot was not cooked to maturity. That is where an experienced movie-maker could have offered something different, ensuring the concept got the treatment it received and gave the audience the complete thrill the movie had potential to deliver.