Sunder C’s Chandrakala (2014) Movie Review
Cast: Hansika Motwani, Andrea Jeremiah, Raai Lakshmi, Sunder C, Santhanam and Manobala
Director: Sunder C
Censor Certificate: UA
Runtime: 146.53 Minutes
Watched at PVR Sujana Mall, Hyderabad
Chandrakala follows the story of a creepy ghost, Chandrakala (Hansika Motwani), a long last soul which is trapped in the very Zamindhar Bungalow. The soul is furious, frustrated and evidently not in peace. When strange events begin to take place in the house, Maadhavi’s (Andrea Jeremiah) brother Raavi (Sunder C) tries help solve the mystery and save the family from any more murders. Though, the tension builds, as dangerous activities take control, where Chandrakala becomes entrapped in Murali (Vinay Roy) wife, Maadhavi (Andrea). Accusations arise and surprising discoveries take place, where we immediately begin to point fingers. So do Maaya (Raai Lakshmi) and his family survive at the Manson? Or do they get killed? Well, you have to watch the film for that.
Performances in the film range from okay to below average with Hansika Motwani, Sunder, Vinay Roy putting their good efforts playing their weak characters and Raai Lakshmi just looking redhot, getting much lesser scope than the three. Kovai Sarala, Manobala and others are quite bearable, but the moment they asked to emote something other than curiosity or threat they just fail. Santhanam comedy is a letdown, As we really don’t see him enough to make a point. Kota Srinivasa Rao is far too talented to be in this film.
A family venture into haunted mansion and gets haunted by the ghost. No, not very very original. We have the Chandramukhi, Boochamma Boochodu and even our recent The End, we don’t need much else. And unfortunately the film doesn’t really attempt to non-formulaic and come with something fresh. Chandrakala has a hackneyed concept and the writer who wasn’t really able to write a screenplay around it to its fullest potential. After huge build up, the culmination is gaunt.
There are glaring plot holes and some mind numbingly dumb decisions made by the characters? Why is there no attempt to escape even after they witnessed the ghost? Why is Sunder so desperate to prove their family that ghosts exist and make them work according to his plan? What was the point of a long and tedious back-story to the stolen temple jewelry? Why doesn’t Vinay try to return back to village and find about his love? No answers are given; it’s all a bit pointless overall.
Most of the second half is unintentionally funny, especially the solid form of ghost and the hero talking to the spirit Chandrakala and telling her for you Vinay is important for me its my sister. Director Sunder gives us a film, an amalgamation of so many horror films, which in the end is neither completely original nor spooky.
The film borrows the old-school technique of inserting scary sounds with characters conversing in the middle, and then sounds with 2x speed will restarting again. The sound design often forgets about natural sounds. The songs by Bharathwaj are more like speed breakers in the horror film. Even Background Score (By Karthik Raja) doesn’t quite elevate the spooky episodes. The Editing of the film is okay, but could have cut short the second half by 15 min or so. Cinematography by Senthil Kumar is neat, uses the locales in a promising way. The dubbing in the film suited the characters. The production values of Sri Subha Swetha films are fine.
Chandrakala has nothing special. The film’s screenplay is a fizzle, it could have been saved by a few good twists and turns. Unfortunately, the direction uses some pretty tried and tested formulas (Chandramukhi, Muni, Supernatural) to suggest extrasensory activity. The final twist is dragged, bringing down the middling energy of the film. And they don’t even utilize it well. It’s a solitary week. You’ve probably seen what the commercial circuit of last few weeks had to offer and can’t wait enough for the biggies of the next week. But if you are a pitiful unfortunate soul who wants to take a chance this week, even then Chandrakala doesn’t seem the type of film you would want to spend your money on. Wait for its home edition, if you must.
Survi Review: 1/5