OTTplay Logo
settings icon
profile icon

Asalu review: Ravi Babu, Purnaa’s whodunit has many loose ends

Directed by Uday and Suresh, the murder mystery has a simplistic plot and struggles to thrill

Asalu review: Ravi Babu, Purnaa’s whodunit has many loose ends

Last Updated: 11.12 AM, Apr 13, 2023



Vandana is a personal assistant to a renowned forensic pathology professor Chakravarthy. The latter is brutally murdered in the middle of an online class. Ranjith, a cop from the CID, is entrusted with the responsibility to solve the case. While he tries to dig deep for answers, the cops discover a notorious side to Chakravarthy that complicates the case further. There are four suspects on the whole - will Ranjith nail the culprit?


Many years after his critically acclaimed crime thrillers Anasuya and Amaravathi, actor-director Ravi Babu returns to his comfort zone with his home production Asalu, a film that he has also written and acted in. Helmed by his associates Uday and Suresh, the premise takes off sans much fuss - a cop explores all possible dimensions to find the brain behind the murder of a professor.

The overkill of thrillers has substantially reduced a viewer’s appetite for the genre. Filmmakers have force-fed us a successful formula for years, so much that there’s more exhaustion than excitement with the mention of a ‘thriller’. The generic and poorly written Asalu does little to change your view. There’s little or no effort to subvert norms or stay ahead of the viewer.

The story is too simplistic and the storytelling is akin to watching paint dry. If Asalu does something well, it remains undistracted - the directors are conscious of their 100-minute runtime, stick to their plot and don’t complicate the setup with needless cinematic liberties. The subplots of the four suspects pique your interest and aren’t elaborated beyond necessity.

The film makes for passable viewing until the culprit is revealed rather unassumingly - it’s as if the makers themselves lost interest midway and fell short of ideas to package the ‘twist’. Ravi Babu, the writer, doesn’t give the cops much scope to display their intelligence or connect the dots - the murderer conveniently leaves him with adequate evidence to surge ahead in the case.

Once the ‘whodunit’ element is done away with, there’s very little reason to be invested in the story. A yawn-fest of a flashback, establishing the motive of the culprit, is another instance of lazy writing. When everything is so painfully basic and layer-less, what’s the point of telling a story? Although Ravi Babu displays some intelligence with the cat-and-mouse chase between the cops and the murderer, the twists look far-fetched and the ending is abrupt.

There are several logical/technological loopholes in the modus operandi of the crime - the viewer is forced to buy many silly twists as cinematic liberties. The father-son thread between the cop and his autistic son merited a stronger emotional connect. In most thrillers featuring prominent leads, makers deem it necessary to peel the banana and justify their actions with a dark flashback/strong motive. At times, one wonders why can’t they be naturally evil?

Most eminent faces in the film do what’s expected of them - Purnaa, Ravi Babu, Surya and Satya Krishnan. Uyyala Jampala girl Pranavi Manukonda makes an impression within a brief role. Despite being shot on a shoestring budget, the team takes adequate care to mask the limitations through their smart choice of backdrops. SS Rajesh’s music and Charan Madhavneni's cinematography stay true to the needs of the story while the editing could’ve been more coherent at places.


The investigative thriller is too generic and does little to grab your attention with the story or the storytelling. The issue is more with the writing than the execution - given its compact setup, the mystery never thickens as expected and is full of logical loopholes. Ravi Babu, Purnaa are experienced enough to do justice to their parts. Watch it only if you’ve no better options.

(The film is streaming on ETV Win

Get the latest updates in your inbox