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KTM movie review – Dheekshith Shetty shines in this messy love story

KTM is a love triangle revolving around three characters - Karthik, Tanya and Mercy - played by Dheekshith Shetty, Sanjana Doss and Kaajal Kunder 

KTM movie review – Dheekshith Shetty shines in this messy love story
Dheekshith Shetty in a still from the song, Sojiga Sojiga

Last Updated: 03.22 PM, Feb 16, 2024


KTM story: PUC student Karthik Bhat (Dheekshith Shetty) is besotted with local beauty Tanya Bhat (Kaajal Kunder), but she rebuffs his advances. Although heartbroken at first, Karthik finds the right balm to heal it in the spunky Mercy (Sanjana Doss), which leads them down a path strewn with hurdles galore. Can they find their happily-ever-after or will it become too overwhelming for the lovebirds?

KTM review: What comes to mind at first about the Kannada film KTM is how much its leading man Dheekshith Shetty has spoken about his physical transformation for the role. Dheekshith’s character Karthik’s journey begins in PUC, say, aged 17-18 years and goes on to about 27-28 years of age, throughout which he does have different looks that he manages not just with the amount of facial fuzz. To pull off a teenaged look, Dheekshith knocked off some weight too and sported a lean physique, and a more buffed up body as a collegian and thereafter. The looks are convincing and the actor does strike an impressive figure onscreen, but that is about all that I could think of by way of positives for KTM.


When the trailer of KTM came out, there were social media comments that the film had World Famous Lover and Arjun Reddy vibes. I wouldn’t know, as I’ve not seen these Vijay Devarakonda films, but I’m guessing it has something to do with Dheekshith’s looks in the film, which they also allude to in the film, and the slap fest, with pretty much every character getting one across the face. I was, in all honesty, expecting an intense love story, but that’s not what played out. Yes, there is love at the centre of the tale, but it remains an unremarkable embellishment amid the hap-hazard narrative and character portrayals that were literally going all over the place.

Sanjana Doss, who plays Mercy, is quite effective in the role, but she is let down by the writing of the character. Mercy is shown to be quite feisty and no-nonsense, but is later reduced to a sobbing mess, who is all but willing to show the other cheek too, after Karthik (Dheekshith) lays his hand on her. Karthik’s descent down a rabbit hole to ‘salvage’ an already messy situation left behind by a pal also does not make much sense. Kaajal Kunder, as Tanya, becomes the proverbial third wheel along the way. The actress has precious little to chew on, but makes the most of what’s come her way.

KTM is, undoubtedly, a Dheekshith vehicle and the actor brings his A-game whether it is in playing a cutesy teenager or an addict willing to go to any length for a fix. All of this, though, feels wasted in a film like this. He deserved better, as did Sanjana and Kaajal too and that’s down to director Aruna, who also doubles up as writer.

KTM verdict: KTM is desperately attempts to masquerade as an intense love story, but falls woefully short. The lead cast tries valiantly to salvage it, which, in the absence of a strong plot and narrative, doesn’t do much good. Should you like Dheekshith, Sanjana or Kaajal, KTM could still merit a visit to the theatres. Just lower your expectations before you do so.

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