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O2 Kannada movie review: Ashika Ranganath’s medical thriller-romantic drama is middling at best

Ashika Ranganath is paired with Raghav Nayak and Praveen Tej in O2, which is the last film that Puneeth Rajkumar greenlit for his banner. 

O2 Kannada movie review: Ashika Ranganath’s medical thriller-romantic drama is middling at best
Ashika Ranganath as Dr Shraddha in O2

Last Updated: 09.56 PM, Apr 23, 2024


O2 movie story: A young and promising, albeit flawed, medical professional, Dr Shraddha’s (Ashika Ranganath), sole aim is to make her research into reviving ‘clinically dead’ patients and giving them a chance at recovery work. Ground-breaking as it could be, it’s not something that anyone at the hospital she works at wants to stick their neck out for, until, of course, human trial works on at least 1 person. Can Shraddha crack it?

O2 movie review: As I finally watched O2, I had myriad thoughts in my head. For starters, why is an anaesthesiologist, and not a cardiologist, neurologist or intensivist heading critical care research about the possibility of reviving a clinically dead patient? Is it enough for a hospital management to approve human trials without clearance from the Medical Board’s ethics committee? Why would a hospital allow this research to happen rather clandestinely in the store-room of an outhouse? That’s all the facilities a ‘dead body’ requires, eh? Most importantly, was I giving too much thought to a film?


O2, written and directed by Prashant Raj and Raghav Nayak, has Ashika Ranganath in the lead, as a young doctor hell-bent on playing God, having lost her dad at a young age. Raghav plays her romantic interest, Osho, an RJ and music enthusiast, while Praveen Tej and Siri Ravikumar, are the cardio and neuro experts on Shraddha’s team. Praveen as Dev, looks like an intern desperately looking for his boss’ approval, while Siri spouted so much about souls and spirits that I was half expecting her to whip out some tarot cards and begin a reading.

During the promotions of O2, Ashika was often heard saying that Shraddha is a far cry from her cutesy, bubbly girl-next-door roles. That is true, but the gravitas one would expect of a medical professional so deeply involved in research, was missing. She just didn’t seem convincing enough.

Prakash Belawadi, who hammed his way though the role of a senior doctor at the hospital Shraddha works. The veteran actor sounds and behaves like dime-a-dozen other characters he’s done in recent times, it’s difficult to tell them apart. Raghav Nayak has a decent screen presence and good voice too.

As a premise, Prashant and Raghav have attempted something different with O2, but it’s not gripping enough to make for a wholesome viewing. It is apparently the last film that Puneeth Rajkumar greenlit, but PRK Productions ventures have a layer of approval involving 3 filmmakers who remain anonymous. But for Kavaludaari, their work has not been very confidence inspiring.

O2 movie verdict: O2 is neither a medical thriller nor a romantic drama and does not strike a fine balance between the two either. The silver lining is that there is no comedy track to detract, making for an otherwise easy viewing, provided you leave your thinking cap at home. I didn’t.

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