Debutant Lohith H’s film was all about the chills and frights with nail-biting twists.
“Mummy – Save Me, is the first film in which I played the female protagonist without any other star. The film did quite well at the box office and gave other filmmakers the confidence that a female-centric movie can also bring in returns. So, in that sense, Mummy – Save Me was the turning point in the second innings of my career,” said Priyanka Upendra in a recent interaction with OTTplay.
The 2016 film was the debut vehicle of young filmmaker Lohith H, who promised a no-frills horror flick, which he delivered. Written as a story inspired by paranormal experiences of real people, Lohith’s film stuck to the plot from the word go, never once deviating for any unnecessary element. While the first images, of a pregnant Priyanka, got people wondering if the film was anything like Vidya Balan’s Kahaani, later on, it became clear that the story was a supernatural thriller.
Mother-child bonds strikes a chord with audiences
Mummy – Save Me revolved around a single mother-daughter duo, Priya and Kriya, played by Priyanka Upendra and Yuvina Parthavi, as they move from Bengaluru to Goa, after the demise of the former’s husband. Despite being heavily pregnant at the time, Priya makes the move, to give herself and Kriya a change of atmosphere after their personal loss. In her grief, Priya inadvertently neglects Kriya, with the child seeking comfort in her father’s last gift to her- a doll – as well as the villa’s resident ghost. Realising her folly and that Kriya is, perhaps, speaking to an imaginary friend, Priya begins spending more time with her daughter, only to figure out that the friend is not imaginary after all.
Priyanka and Yuvina’s chemistry as mother and daughter was spoken about as one of the biggest highlights of the film, which was Lohith’s intention too, saying that their relationship dynamic would tug at audience’s heartstrings. Also, considering that Priyanka is a mother of two in real life, Lohith felt that she was the only one who could do justice to the role of Priya.
Deft story-telling, cinematography and music elevate Mummy – Save Me
When Lohith set out to make Mummy – Save Me, he was clear that he would not include standard tropes of commercial cinema, like comedy or songs, and dilute the narrative. Instead, he leaned heavily on the story, the performances of his lead cast and, notably, cinematography by HC Venu and the background score by Ajaneesh Loknath. Venu’s camerawork not only brought in the right amount of jump scares, but his visuals also made for an edge-of-the-seat viewing experience.
A sequel in the works?
From the film’s ending was it was clear that Lohith intended to take the story of Priya and Kriya forward. Buoyed by the film’s box office success, he had, in fact, announced a sequel, which was to involve a time leap and be set in Manali.
Where to watch: The Kannada film Mummy - Save Me is available to stream on Zee5. Word of caution: This film is not for the faint-hearted.