The film has a riveting premise but is undone by a dull, lazily-written final stretch
Last Updated: 10.57 AM, Jun 10, 2022
Veda is a young woman in search of her father and answers that could forge a strong link between her past, present and future. She comes across a lawyer Venkat, whom she falls in love with and the latter takes Veda a step closer to her father with the help of a book. What explains Venkat’s interest in Veda? Will Veda’s pursuit prove worthy?
Kinnerasani has all the ingredients of a taut thriller with an unusual yet novel premise. The story revolves around a girl with a dark past in search of her roots. The deeper she digs, the murkier are the secrets waiting to be unwrapped. With a crisp two-hour run-time, the film keeps you glued to the screens mostly, if not for a lazily-written final stretch.
The director Ramana Teja knows the limitations of his star cast featuring relative newcomers and lets the story take centerstage. He preserves his twists well and unravels the mysteries in the film delicately, while throwing enough hints on what to expect next. The setup is compact, the characters are minimal, and their establishment is crisp and slick.
No time is wasted and there’s more bite to the characterisation, given that the actors don’t have a pre-set image. The antagonist Jayadev, for instance, doesn’t have verbal diarrhoea or any overdone cinematic aura. Despite his psychotic behaviour, he’s compelling as a character because he and his trauma feel real. The film, shot on a shoestring budget, has an undeniable raw appeal.
The backstory of Jayadev is the lifeline of the thriller - Ravindra Vijay shows his worth as an actor with the underplayed villainy and sends shivers down your spine with his expressions and terrifying body language. The supernatural angle to Veda’s mind is underutilised - it’s surprising that the director restricts this trait only for a few moments and doesn’t exploit it as much as he should.
There’s a good twist reserved for the pre-climactic segment with Venkat’s grey characterisation and had this been used well, the film would’ve ended on a good high. Instead, Ramana Teja compromises on the storytelling, avoiding an investigative procedural, to ensure a safe, predictable ending that projects Venkat as a saviour.
It’s disappointing when films like Kinnersani, which have nothing to lose, don't show enough courage with their storytelling. Yet, for those who watch it without much expectation, the film isn’t bad at all. It just doesn’t push itself as much as it should have. Ann Sheetal is a revelation as Veda, she has an arresting screen presence, emotes like a dream and reflects her character’s psychology effortlessly.
Kinnersani should open many doors for Ravindra Vijay, he has the right personality to pull off a wide variety of roles and is a refreshing break from stereotypical baddies from Mumbai who bite more than they can chew. Kalyaan Dhev has progressed as an actor in comparison to Vijetha and Super Machi; he’s definitely got the look for the film right.
Kashish Khan doesn’t get much scope to shine whereas Satya Prakash, as a cop for the umpteenth time in his career, does what’s expected of him. Sreya Tyagi and the child actor Sanvitha too hold the fort well in the flashback portions. Back Star Shan passes muster. Mahati Swara Sagar’s slow burn-background score works better than his songs.
Kinnerasani may spring a surprise for those who don’t expect much out of it - the film mainly works for its taut screenplay and bravura performances by Ann Sheetal and Ravindra Vijay.
(The Telugu film is streaming on ZEE5)