Director: G Ashok
Cast: Anushka Shetty, Unni Mukundan, Jayaram, Asha Sharath and others
Music: SS Thaman
Director Ashok’s film Bhaagamathie, which features Anushka Shetty, Unni Mukundan, Jayaram and Asha Sharath, can best be described as a film of two halves that are diametrically opposite to each other when it comes to content.
While the first half is slow and predictable, the next is fast and unpredictable. Naturally, it is the twists in the second half that save the day for the crew of the film, which, otherwise, could have been dismissed as being dull and boring.
As a film, Bhaagamathie is a decent entertainer with a lot of twists and turns. The film, which is more a political drama than a horror film, is quite engaging despite an insipid and predictable first half.
Vaishnavi Natarajan (Asha Sarath), a CBI officer, is assigned the task of ruining the reputation of Water Resources Minister Eshwar Prasad (Jayaram) by her political masters. Vaishnavi believes that if she interrogates Sanchala (Anushka Shetty), an IAS officer who is currently serving a prison term for killing her husband Shakthi (Unni Mukundan), she will be able to find evidence of some wrong doing against Minister Eshwar Prasad. This is because Sanchala has served as Eshwar Prasad’s personal secretary twice.
It is with this intention that she chooses to bring Sanchala to a desolate house in the midst of a forest that locals believe is haunted by Bhaagamathie, the spirit of a queen who ruled the province decades ago.
Sanchala is made to stay in the palatial structure that was once Bhaagamathie’s home while the cops camp nearby. The interrogation is spread over a few days. As time goes by, strange developments begin to occur and the cops begin to wonder if they were right in ignoring the rumours of the place being haunted…
The film’s plot is difficult to buy as there are serious lapses in logic. For instance, one finds it hard to believe that a professional unit like the CBI would make a suspect stay alone in a place with many exits, including, one of which it has no knowledge.
Also, the predictability factor is high in the first half. In fact, the first half is so predictable that you even know where a face or shadow is going to appear next in scenes that are meant to scare you.
But these observations are limited to just the first half. The second half is very different with the director keeping you guessing and on your tenterhooks.
The film’s biggest strength is its music. It’s background score in particular is awesome. Music director S Thaman’s effort plays a huge part in lifting the film to a different level. It is the fantastic music accompanying the sequences that leave you scared and interested.
The film has some wonderful camera work by R Madhie, who is fast becoming popular for his skill. It also has good performances coming in from Jayaram, Unni Mukundan and Asha Sarath but the best performance of the film comes from Anushka, who effortlessly carries the film on her shoulders. If Thaman’s music is the film’s biggest strength, Anushka’s portrayal of Bhaagamathie is its next biggest plus.
On the whole, Bhaagamathie is a film that can be watched once.