“Despite good performances from the lead actors, unnecessary melodrama and predictable scenes spoil the second half. Second Hand can easily be skipped.”
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"Show a character in its weakness and from there drive the narration to the circumstances that pulled it into a murky pool" says the classic textbook way of film-making. Like many directors Kishore Tirumala also lived with the same dictum while magnifying a short film on screen.
Life is problems galore and relationships add fuel to them. Most of the times, we pass the buck of blame to the other sex. If you are guy, the problem lies with the girl and vice versa. Second Hand takes this concept forward with a shallow description of three stories and thus tries to find the answer for ‘Who done it?’ when it comes to relationships.
A snapshot of the three stories:
1) An NRI monster eats into a guy’s life. Then he is asked to take his career seriously.
2) A ‘gentleman’ gets into the system of arranged marriage but fate has something else in store.
3) A third person can bring turbulence in the lives of two techies.
Second hand has a flimsy storyline that rides high on its story-telling format. The two stories in the first half are connected to an ‘independent’ third story after interval. There is no relation between those, except for the central character of Dhanya Balakrishnan. But to fit them into the format, they are juxtaposed in the film and a kind of relation has been added towards the climax. This makes you confused to know whether there are any creative inputs from writer-producer BVS Ravi.
Only few moments in the film stand out and evoke laughter, esp. the second story. The extended cameo of Vishnu (of Prema Ishq Kaadhal) offers some relief in an otherwise lackluster narration. Dhanya with her simplistic portrayal looks convincing and Kireeti takes the cake with his subdued performance as Gentleman Subbarao. Rest of the actors simply collected their pay cheques with a been-there-done-that approach. Some dialogues are crackling, but the twists and the interval block offer no surprises.
Director Kishore hits another nail in his coffin with snail-paced narration. When the movie is targeted to next gen audience, the yawn-worthy moments make it unpalatable. Moreover, the emotional layering of the characters goes for a toss and even in supposedly tear-jerking moments no body tries to emote with them. The different stories don’t quite seep into the main plot giving a sense of disconnect to the overall proceedings. And when the predictability factor keeps mounting with every passing scene, you literally can’t sit through the length of the film.
In a tale of break-ups and patch-ups, the technical departments too put a patchy work. The production values are mundane and the locations are quite common. One praise-worthy element is Subbarao song that proves the mettle of the cameraman for pulling it off in a long take. The flash-in-the-pan moments towards the end by Puri Jagannadh, Samantha and Allu Arjun offer lifeboats to the audience, but by that time the ship (read film) is already touching the abyss.
My Rating: Expectation – 6/10; Reality – 4/10