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Movie Review- Columbus

... Srivathsan Nadadhur/The Hindu:

Columbus traps a viewer throughout its run time. Taking off in a jail, it opens with the lead protagonist Ashwin (Sumanth Ashwin) behind the bars in an attempt-to-murder case.

The film is about this man's desperation to win back his lost love while discovering something life-altering in the midst of it. Perhaps one reason the makers have to justify the title.

Though it attempts to be a tale about relationships, the outcome doesn't boast of a single moment that strikes an emotional chord. In the scene where Ashwin’s bike and his mom’s car are about to collide, she merely says, “Addochhana babu (Have I come in the way).” She’s supposed to be the roadblock that reminds him of his purpose then, but that just remains a passing line.

Ashwin is never known to have an identity for himself in the film, doing anything and everything to earn his once-teenage love Indumathi (Mishti). He is at his desperate best in using one of his acquaintances, Neeraja (Seerat) as his pawn to reach her.

Neeraja’s character sketch is no less amusing. She returns his favours one after the other.

There are shamelessly manipulative moments where she compromises on her own dignity for this man's need. The director tries hard to convey something's brewing between them and all of this intent is honest, it’s tough to understand, who between the two characters are more purposeless.

Still, the major problem with the film is not its story, but the lack of conviction. There’s never a sequence, where you just soak into the moment and realise that little flimsy depth. Neither the casting choices nor the personality-less characters help. Sumanth Ashwin is yet the actor who could make us look beyond the shoddiness around.

Mishti Chakraborthy looks to be in a hurry, breaking relationships, patching up and giving up again. As a result, her performance just doesn't have the time to register or settle down. Seerat’s chunk of screenspace is flattering but you notice the looks, the range and the lack of it for the most part. .

Saptagiri's role is called Chilaka and that seems more humorous than what unfolds in his comedy track. As the film’s credits roll, you wonder when you see the word ‘screenply’; you needn’t have rubbed more salt into the wound? 

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