Awe! movie review: Nani’s film is an extraordinary piece of art that must be celebrated

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Here's our review of Nani's Awe starring Nithya Menen, Kajal Aggarwal, Regina Cassandra, Murali Sharma, Eesha Rebba, Srinivas Avasarala.

Awe!, starring Nithya Menen, Kajal Aggarwal, Regina Cassandra, Murali Sharma,  Eesha Rebba, Srinivas Avasarala, can easily be the most intriguing Telugu film of not just 2018, but in the last three years. One look at the trailer and you will know that this movie is as bizarre as it gets. Shrouded in mystery, the promo refuses to reveal anything. However, it is enough to make us curious to run for the first show of the film. Adding to all this is the fact that Nani debuts as a producer with this film. Reports suggest, Nani fell in love with Prashanth Varma’s script and volunteered to produce it. So what is it that drove Nani to promote this story? Read on to find out…

What’s it about 

Awe! is a compilation of multiple stories unfolding simultaneously. Weirdly, the stories all take place at one food court, There’s a girl, who is trying to convince her parents about her lesbian lover, there is a boy who is creating a time machine so he can go back in time and reverse the death of his parents. An arrogant magician is not ready to accept that there is trickster better than him until he is challenged. A young, amateur chef is desperately trying to find a job. A young, rocker chic girl, who also happens to be a drug addict, is plotting to steal a huge amount of money. Between these stories, there is a disturbed, distressed girl who hints at death multiple times and a talking fish and tree! Why are these stories connected? What is the common thread that ties them together? The movie’s intention is to reveal that to you.

What’s hot
Telugu cinema has woken up from its long slumber and opened its eyes to newer perspectives, newer possibilities, newer stories. The age old formula has been experimented with fearlessly. The biggest highlight of this film is that it’s not your regular commercial film. There is a mystery element in the film and I will respect it by not revealing the same so that you go watch it in the theatres. This film deserves it. It stands out for being different, unique and one-of-a-kind. Prashanth Varma is a master storyteller, who reveals the story, layer by layer, as if peeling an onion. Every scene is sketched before it translates into reality which reminds me of Hum Tum, but it is a refreshing concept in Telugu cinema. Here is a director who has shot a film his way – not the typical Tollywood way. Each story that unfolds follows a different colour theme, perfectly reflecting its mood. The gripping story has you hooked right from the word go. It makes you wonder as to what’s happening, which, in turn, piques your curiosity. But it all comes together in a well-planned climax. Either you would have seen it coming or you would have not, but that’s besides the point. The fact that Tollywood attempted to tell this tale in the first place is what matters. Moving on to actors, Nithya Menen, Kajal Aggarwal, Regina Cassandra, Murali Sharma,  Eesha Rebba, Srinivas Avasarala supported one another with amazing performances. One can tell that the ensemble cast didn’t team up for praise or glory but for the story. But if we have to choose one actor in particular, it has to be Regina Cassandra, who lived the character. Like Nani, each of them wanted to be associated with this powerful story. When actors decide to be part of a film for a greater purpose, you know they are not in business just to bask in the limelight. By being a part of Awe they have lived up to their responsibility as actors. Last but not the least, the poignant background score echos as you leave the theatre. Its evocative tune touches a chord and you are truly left in AWE!

What’s not 

There is a scene in the film, where a discussion on homosexuality takes place. It could have been executed better. Having said that, the fact that the movie even spoke about it was a big deal. In a few instances, the movie had certain loopholes where the stories steered away from logic. But nothing damaging. One can easily overlook them for the bigger picture. The build up towards the end could have been edited better. Having said all of this, the flaws were almost negligible, taking nothing away from the story.

What to do 

Apart from it being a brilliant piece of direction, the idea itself must be celebrated. Watch this piece of art just so that other filmmakers in the future are encouraged to take up new concepts fearlessly. As a viewer and a writer who relishes anything unique, I am thankful for Awe!, apart from being in awe of AWE!

Rating:4.0 out of 5

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