What is the story about?
A prominent film director has just delivered his biggest dud to date. The critics and audiences only have the filmmaker to blame for the fiasco. The angry and distressed director is all the more agitated when a not-so-popular actor in his next film asks him to tweak his script and write a crime thriller next. The director’s wife suggests he hire an upcoming writer Balu for the project. A series of incidents spanning over a dinner meeting alter their lives beyond repair.
There have been far, few and in between instances where stories set in the backdrop of the film industry have won the approval of Telugu audiences – the fate of films like Neninthe, Darsakudu, Abhinetri more or less tell the story. In most cases, the ‘insider talk’, the technical aspects to filmmaking, the stories about strugglers, the focus on the creepy side of the industry hold little or no relevance to the common man. Y, Aha’s latest direct-to-OTT release, about an upcoming film writer and a prominent director, risks entering this terrain but succeeds in engaging the viewer with a gripping plot and slick narration.
Balu Adusumilli, the filmmaker takes the liberty to highlight various eccentricities within the film world with a touch of humour – the bloated egos of filmmakers/actors, the ghost-writing, the boastful star-makers, the superstitions, the indifferent treatment after a film failure and the off-screen ‘compromises’ if one were to scale the peaks. The premise is a delight – what if a filmmaker takes a cue from a fictional story to get over a personal issue? There’s more to the story than meets the eye and a series of delightfully packaged twists turn the film on its head.
The biggest advantage for any small-budgeted film is the absence of any baggage in the viewer’s mind. Y makes the most of its unusual story, unpredictable storytelling, unique casting and 90-minute duration. It’s a bummer that the climax is partially inspired by Anil Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap’s Netflix film AK vs AK. If only the filmmaking had more finesse and the acting was less casual, Y could have been a bigger surprise. Give this one a chance, it won’t disappoint you.
Sriram is strictly okay as the prominent, egoistic filmmaker with a weakness for women, the portrayal feels robotic/mechanical in parts. The actor wears a disinterested expression for most situations and his efforts don’t do justice to the character. On the other end, Rahul Ramakrishna, cast, in the role of a cash-strapped writer is at his spontaneous best, with his usual bursts of humour, engaging responses to verbal duels. The dark twist to his character explores a new side to his repertoire. Akshaya Chander, Gemini Suresh, Devayani Sehar and TNR are passable in their brief roles.
Music & Other Departments
Vikas Badisa’s tone-deaf background score doesn’t augur well for the atmospherics of a thriller. More focus on sound design would’ve added more tension and bite to the ambience. Vinay Kotti’s dialogues are entertaining while Chota K Prasad’s slick edits lend sharpness to the narrative. The writing has a good element of novelty and the suspense in the story is sustained well. The film’s found wanting in terms of its visual aesthetics – the frames are monotonous, raunchy at times and are almost devoid of character.
- Engaging story
- Terrific twists
- Okayish performances
- Technically underwhelming
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?
If you’re a thriller-enthusiast