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Revisiting Karthikeya: What explains the allure of this Nikhil Siddhartha, Swathi Reddy starrer?

Ahead of Karthikeya 2, we look back at the mystical thriller’s prequel that introduced writer, director Chandoo Mondeti to Telugu cinema

Revisiting Karthikeya: What explains the allure of this Nikhil Siddhartha, Swathi Reddy starrer?
Swathi Reddy and Nikhil Siddhartha
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 06.41 PM, Aug 11, 2022

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Karthikeya 2 is a much-awaited thriller, starring Nikhil Siddhartha and Anupama Parameswaran, that hits theatres this weekend. The film is a thematic sequel to the 2014 release Karthikeya, also featuring Nikhil and was directed by the same filmmaker Chandoo Mondeti. The latter released amid limited expectations and hype but emerged as a surprise success at the box office back then. What makes Karthikeya so special that it merited a sequel? We take a look.

The story of Karthikeya revolves around the famous Subramanyeswara Swamy temple in Subramanyapuram. The temple is shut down for mysterious reasons, and all those who try to find out the story behind it, keep getting killed by a deadly snake bite. On the other hand, Karthik(Nikhil) is a streetsmart medical student, who is posted to Subramanyapuram along with his group.

Once Karthik lands there, a series of eerie events create havoc amidst the group. Upset about it, Karthik decides to take charge of the situation and solve the mystery himself. What is the mystery behind the temple? Why are people dying of snake bites? Will Karthik be able to solve the mystery? This forms the crux of the story.

The major highlight of Karthikeya is its interesting story. Right from the word go, the entire film is quite gripping. Chandoo Mondeti deserves immense praise for penning an engaging story which has enough twists and turns. Karthikeya is a director’s film and it’s he, who makes you stay glued to your seats with his racy narration. The suspense factor and mythological touch have been handled well.

Nikhil is pitch-perfect in the role of the medico. His intense performance anchors the narrative. The actor had enough meat in the role to showcase his talent and he delivers the goods with a lot of ease. All along, the humour quotient in the film is impressive, mostly in the first half where Praveen does a good job. Shekhar Chandra’s background score is another asset to the film.

While the first half of the film is very engaging, the romance thread is integrated into the suspense thriller smartly. Even though the film ends on a superb note, the climax feels slightly rushed. Swathi is impressive but does not have a meaty role. The film loses its momentum slightly in the second hour and several unnecessary scenes take centre stage.

On the whole, Karthikeya is still one of the most refreshing films of its time and was a breath of fresh air for audiences at the time of its release in 2014. The novel concept, gripping screenplay, Nikhil’s performance and cleverly designed suspense elements make this film stand above the rest.

There are high expectations on Karthikeya 2 and the bar has been set high by the creators with the riveting promos and top-notch prequel. Srinivas Reddy, Viva Harsha, Anupam Kher and Adithya Menon also essay important roles in the sequel. The film has music by Kaala Bhairava and is produced by Abhishek Agarwal and T Vishwa Prasad.

(Karthikeya is streaming on Youtube)

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