Claustrophobic trip down romance trail
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Being creative is fine. But what happens when creativity turns into cinema of the absurd. You get 143 aka Nooranalavathmuru. Neither downright entertaining, nor exquisitely aesthetic, 143 turns into a film that disappoints the first day, first show fan, and in equal measure the discerning audiences looking for different cinema. Shot within the confines of a ramshackle garage, Chandrakanth turns his odious love tale into a claustrophobic two-hour-thirty-five minutes trip, whose sprinkling audience, comprising mostly movie reviewers, scurry to the exit for a breath of fresh air lest be suffocated and swoon within the audience, as the lead pair, does, more often than not. Note, this is not to discount Chandrakanth’s yen to be creative and script a tale, that subtly derides and parodies the commercial crass that are foisted on audiences week after week. But, by dipping his finger into too many cinematic pie – story, screenplay, dialogue, production, lyrics, what have you, Chandrakanth turns a chef who spoils the heady broth and makes it unpalatable. With Section 144 curfew in city, a damsel in distress – Ahima/Bhuddi, thunders her way into the elaborately and methodically constructed garage, where Seenu 143 resides, amidst his assortment of paraphilia, including the looming portrait of his mother. Having failed 142 times in striking the love match, Seenu hopes it would be 143rd time lucky for him. How Bhuddi and Seenu, indulge in a verbal battle of wits and wisecracks, like snake and mongoose, before the day dawns, and curfew is relaxed, and Bhuddi walks out to freedom, leaving Seenu forlorn, forms the fulcrum of 143. An interesting premise, where the girl ensures that she keeps the shaitan as she calls him, from arm’s distance of her, is however, lost in the double meaning dialogues, and silly power play, while a more subtle script and taut narrative, with screen time reduced to 90 minutes, could have rendered 143 a filmi treat. It’s with mixed feelings you emerge out of 143 and put into a quintessential quandary whether to thumb it down or up, for here is a film that deserves a watch for its concept and ideation, but loses itself in the myriad of compromises it makes. Still, while recommending that one must watch the film, one can only give two stars for the film, which, turns out an average outing, despite its sparks of difference it displays. The songs, six in all, come as a welcome relief reducing the monotony to a large extent. In sum, watch it at your own risk.