Directed by: Chandoo Mondeti
Cast: Nikhil Siddharth, Swati Reddy, Tanikella Bharani, Rao Ramesh, Kishore, Tulasi
Rating: 3 stars
This year has seen many debutant directors with Chandu Mondeti being the latest addition to the list. His film ‘Karthikeya’, a thriller with Nikhil and Swathi in the lead, was released after a delay and is a film worth watching.
The story revolves around a Subramanya Swamy temple in Subramanya Puram which is closed due to some mysterious reasons. An endowment officer Shankar (Raja Ravindra) does some research, finds the reasons behind the closure of the temple and writes a book about the mystery surrounding the temple, but is killed by a snake bite.
Karthik (Nikhil) is a medical student and a curious guy. He falls in love with Valli (Swathi) who is studying in the same college. During a medical camp Karthik and the other medical students are posted to Subramanya Puram. He stays in an old guest house and there he and his friends see some weird things. Then Karthik comes to know about the temple’s closure and he starts investigating. The mystery behind the temple and the reason for people dying of snake bites and how Karthik reveals the truth and opens the temple again is the crux of the story.
It’s good to see young debutants coming up with novel subjects. Chandu Mondeti’s film is very interesting right from the beginning and he maintains the tempo till the end. The director concentrates on the storyline and does not deviate to put in commercial elements like a regular film.
Nikhil has done a neat job of playing a medical student. He never goes overboard and has delivered an impressive performance. This film has enabled him to showcase his talent. Swathi has also done a good job of playing the female lead but it looks like she has put on lot of weight these days. Rao Ramesh has once again come out with flying colours with his performance. He has already proved that he is one of the finest actors we have and it is up to the directors to make good use of him in their films. Thankella Bharani is another good actor and has played his part well.
Another plus point of this film is the background music by Sekhar Chandra. The film has a few songs but no regular romantic ones. Cinematography by Karthik Ghattamaneni is excellent and is seen in the scenic visuals in the film. The temple locations and the greenery has been captured excellently by him.
There are a few drawbacks too. The subject is innovative and it could have been told more interestingly. The director takes his own time to establish the characters in the first half and the climax could have been handled in a better way. Rao Ramesh’s character should be extended a little bit to establish him as the main villain.
Despite its drawbacks ‘Karthikeya’ is a very refreshing film and Chandu Mondeti’s debut can be termed a success. It is a thriller with tight screenplay a new story. Whoever feels bored with the regular song-dance masala films, should watch this thriller for a change!