Horror is a difficult genre to make coz if it's not executed well, it could turn out to be unintentionally funny. Over the years, we have had numerous horror movies & one of the finest that I have come across in an Indian movie is "Arundhati". Apart from the fact that it was well made, it had Anushka Shetty as the protagonist who was absolutely brilliant in it. Since then I have been a huge fan of her talent & when the trailer of "Baagamathie" was released, it kinda brought back memories of the aforementioned flick. So will this be yet another feather on her crown???
The film unfolds with Ishwar Prasad (Jayaram), a minister loved by the masses for his empathetic attitude & clean track record, challenging the Government to mend their ways if they wanted his continued support. This put the Government on the offensive & they entrust CBI officer Vaishnavi Reddy (Asha Sharath) to unearth skeletons from Ishwar's cupboard to malign his image. As part of her investigation, she suspected an uncanny connection between Ishwar & the disappearance of ancient idols from temples. However, she wasnt able to pinpoint the crime & decides to coax his former personal secretary IAS officer Sanchala (Anushka Shetty) to spill the beans. Incidentally, Sanchala was already in remand for the murder of her fiance & social activist, Shakthi (Unni Mukundan). In order to avoid unnecessary media scrutiny, Vaishnavi have her shifted for interrogation to a dilapidated mansion which was believed to be haunted by the evil queen, Baagamathie. So was it actually haunted & did Ishwar have an hand in any suspicious dealings as Vaishnavi believed???
G Ashok has called the shots here & since I havent watched his previous flicks such as "Pilla Zamindar" and "Sukumarudu" , I dont have much of a frame of reference. Apart from direction, he has penned the script as well which basically juggles with a couple of genres impressively. The striking feature of the movie is that it offers something quite different from what we expect in the trailer. It would also be fair to admit that a part of it is inspired by "Usual Suspects" & though the climax is predictable, it still manages to thrill us. Thaman's BGM adds to the suspense while R Madhi's visuals were impressive especially the sequences inside the mansion, however the CGI wasnt quite upto the mark.
Anushka is the heart & soul of the movie and has done utmost justice to it with a smashing performance. It made complete sense for Ashok to wait for close to 5 years for Anushka's dates as no one else could have aced the role. As for the rest, Jayaram, Asha Sharath, Murali Sharma & Unni Mukundan have done their parts aptly.
Verdict: It has all the ingredients to become a blockbuster & as per reports that has come out, it is expected to become the first south Indian female centric film to enter the 50 C club. The combination of horror and crime thriller works quite well and despite the predictable climax, it keeps us hooked until the end. In short, check it out!!!