Super Over Review

Director Praveen Varma's web film is a simplistic yet taut thriller executed well

Srivathsan Nadadhur -

Super Over Review
Platform
AHA Video
Platform Icons Click To Stream
Format
Original Film Review
Movie Rated
13+
Genre
CRIME
Language
Telugu

What is the story about?

20s something Kaasi, Vasu and Madhu are bosom friends biding their time in Hyderabad, standing by each other through their thick and thin. While Kaasi’s dream to head to the US doesn’t look like materialising anytime soon, pressure mounts on him to repay a huge debt back home. Falling short of time and options to make quick money, Kaasi pins his hopes on cricket-betting to bail him out of a tricky situation. Even as he fumbles initially, luck favours him in the long run – Kaasi learns the ropes in the trade quickly, helping him win money to the tune of crores. There’s trouble in the paradise when he, Vasu and Madhu reach a prior-informed location to collect the huge sum.

Analysis

Telugu filmmakers seem to have cracked the code in choosing the right stories for digital platforms, unlike their earlier efforts to force-fit their feature film scripts into the web-format. Director Praveen Varma’s slick treatment of a compact subject in Super Over confirms this. The crisply packaged thriller, lasting an hour and a half, has enough fire in its belly to keep you entertained. The execution is raw at places; the characters may not have been established smartly, while there are one too many coincidences that feel implausible. Yet for every folly, there’s a clever twist that helps the filmmaker retain his grip over the proceedings.

A bunch of characters sets its eyes on a huge sum of money earned through a cricket bet, each driven by a motive and the narrative tells you their backstories at a breath-taking pace. Super Over is consistently on the move, as the characters try to outsmart each other - only to drown into a deeper mess every time. Amid this confusion, there are occasions you lose track of the series of events but the dots are connected in the nick of time, thanks to a sharp screenplay that remains focused (recovering after a shaky start).

On the other hand, the pivotal character Kaasi’s urge to earn quick money lacks urgency or any intensity – he also resorts to cricket betting without batting an eyelid. There’s almost no method in place to justify his command over the trade either; the mood is a little too casual and simplistic for the viewer to take his big win seriously.

The absence of a strong emotional connect between Kaasi and his friends Madhu and Vasu is another issue with the film. However, after watching umpteen number of thrillers where characters don’t think twice to deceive their kin and kith, it’s comforting to see a trio of friends (in Super Over) sticking together as a unit no matter what. It’s heartening to see a female character in a Telugu film who is friends with two men and is still not romantically involved with either of them

The filmmaker despite shooting the film amid the pandemic intelligently uses a limited set of characters and locations for a story that unfolds over a single night. The casting is apt and it’s pleasing to see a young filmmaker like Sudheer Varma back an indie-spirited film with a decent story.

Performances

Naveen Chandra looks to be an actor growing in confidence with each outing and the sincerity with which he has essayed his roles in his recent projects is indeed heart-warming. Chandini Chowdary and Rakendu Mouli make their presence felt and significantly take the plot forward, though their talents feel under-utilised. It’s a cakewalk for the likes of Ajay to play a corrupt cop – it’s a role he could get right even with his eyes closed. Viva Harsha and Praveen are impressive while they last. The other supporting cast fit their parts well.

Music & Other Departments

Sampath Alwar, the sound designer and Sunny M R, with the sharp background score, come together to lend an atmospheric quality to the proceedings. Divakar Mani’s cinematography feels slightly repetitive at places and lacks imagination – even considering the fact that the film was to a limited set of locations and backdrops. SR Shekhar, the editor ensures a zippy scene-to-scene transition and makes the narrative all the more absorbing. The dialogues, sometimes situational, are otherwise ordinary in most sequences.

Highlights

  • Slick narrative
  • Good performances
  • Smart writing

Drawbacks

  • Lacks emotional connect
  • Falls short of visual appeal

Did I enjoy it?

Mostly, yes

Do I recommend it?

Yes


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