Nakshatram movie review: Krishna Vamsi's cop drama crashes and burns even before it takes off
We are often told that “time is precious”. Several films, over the years, have explored this concept through the eyes of its protagonists, who must do everything they can to survive. But what if the concept was told from the point of view of the audience? That’s the feeling you’re left with while watching Krishna Vamsi’s latest film Nakshatram.
At a run time of two hours and forty five minutes, the film, at best, makes you want to erase your memory of having watched the film in first place. Make no mistake, Nakshatram is one of the most tedious and pointless films made in recent times.
Nakshatram is about a young bloke, Rama Rao (Sundeep Kishan) who dreams of becoming a police officer. Three generations of his family have served in the police department and Rama Rao wants to follow suit. His doting mother, uncle Seetha Ram (Sivaji Raja), and his girlfriend (Regina) go out of their way to help Rama Rao to achieve his goal. However, his dream hits a roadblock when Rahul (Tanish), son of police commissioner (Prakash Raj), plays spoilsport. Elsewhere, the police commissioner himself is in search of Alexander.
The rest of the story is about how Rama Rao breaks every rule in the book to make his dream come true and what happens to Alexander.
In a parallel universe, the plot of Nakshatram would have sounded quite timely, especially with the whole drug scandal that has rocked the city of Hyderabad. In this film too, there’s a sub-plot of drug peddling and supply of illegal weapons. But do not get any ideas. Because the film isn’t about that. It doesn’t even try to address the issue at large. No matter how hard I try to understand the purpose behind making this film, I fall short of deciphering this puzzle. Nothing makes sense.
It’s loud, outrageously bad at times, and the lack of finesse seems deliberate. You could argue that the lives of police officers is far from glamorous and that’s a valid point; however, nothing explains why the film looks as if it was subjected to a third degree torture on the editing table. The colours are barely pleasing to the eyes, the dialogues are loud enough to shatter your ear drums, and the over-the-top characterisations of the actors leaves plenty of scars on your conscience.
Long after having watched the film, when I try to think about what Nakshatram tries to convey and how it has been structured, it becomes evident that Krishna Vamsi wants us to contemplate about the lack of morality in our society. Rama Rao is a honest man and the police department is filled with a lot of such people; however, owing to several pressures from higher officials, politicians, and the rats within, very few people are able to stand upright and do their duty. There’s a character named Mukhtar, who is an illegal arms supplier.
Krishna Vamsi wants us to be aware of such people in the society and also drives home the message that every citizen is a police officer without an uniform. The choices we make defines our character. So, for every Yin, there has to be a Yang to balance things out in the universe. For every Rama Rao, there’s a Rahul, who’s essentially a drug-addict and beyond any remorse or redemption.
Nakshatram is not experimental by any yardstick. It’s got action, comedy, romance, a flashback and even an item song - the staple diet of every Telugu action film. And it’s got some earnest performances too. Sundeep Kishan, in particular, gives everything he has got to play the role of Rama Rao. There’s Sivaji Raja and Prakash Raj, both of whom deliver good performances. Tanish is a revelation as a baddie; however, the crudeness of his characterisation and the over-the-top gestures, especially when it comes to his drug-fuelled weirdness, makes you squirm. Sai Dharam Tej, who played a crucial role, doesn’t quite find his feet on the ground and his entire sequence is badly narrated. And the less we talk about rest of the actors, the better it is.
Tollywood’s obsession with glorifying cops needs no introduction, but if that obsession leads someone to make a film like Nakshatram, then it’s high time to take a break and look at greener pastures.
Truth is, Nakshatram left me both sad and angry. And that’s not something which you want to feel after watching a film. All I care about right now is what pill to pop to calm my nerves. Will morphine do the trick? I don’t know. But I do know for sure that watching Nakshatram could turn out to be injurious to health and causes severe migraine. You’ve been warned.