Cast: Anjali, Arjun Bajwa, Sindhu Tulani, Jayaprakash, Sakshi Gulati, Swati Dixit and Raja Ravindra
Director: G Ashok
After a long delay, the film Chitrangada finally released this Friday. Anjali plays the lead role in this woman-centric film. G. Ashok of Pilla Zamindar fame is the director. Chitrangada or Chitra (Anjali) is an assistant professor in a college and stays in the hostel. She doesn’t believe in spirits or ghosts, but many girls living in the hostel have had some scary experiences. The girls believe Chitra is behind those incidents. A student tells the college committee about Chitra’s strange behaviour, especially with the girls, and claims that she’s seducing them. But Chitra does have some psychological problems. One particular dream she keeps having troubles her — in which a woman kills a man in a lake. And her psychologist (Jayaprakash) is of the opinion that she’s not mentally stable.
However, Chitra believes the place she goes to in her dreams is in the US so, she travels to States to investigate the killing. There, she meets Samyukta (Sakshi Gulati), a cop, and they become close friends. Samyukta is also willing to help Chitra find out more about the murder. They soon discover that such a murder did in fact happen 25 years ago and they had the names of the people involved too. As she investigates further, Chitra discovers her disturbing past. The crux of the plot reveals why the woman by the lake killed the man. Director G. Ashok is best known for his film Pilla Zamindar that stars Nani. Chitrangada, he claims, is based on actual events.
The subject does have potential for a good film but the director shows a duality that doesn’t go down well. It would have been good if he had narrated the story in a straightforward manner but he includes unnecessary commercial aspects and spoils the theme. In the second half, the director inexplicably ends up focusing on comedy instead of sticking with plot’s inherent suspense. There are also just too many illogical points. Certain characters, including that of the psychiatrist could have been stronger and better explored. But the lack of detail makes the overall feel of the movie very shallow. The songs are nothing too great either and suffer from a double whammy – they don’t sound good and are not picturised well.
When it comes to performances, it is Anjali all the way. But while she’s good in certain parts, she overdoes it in some. It is really not her fault though because her character has not been conceptualised well. Sakhi Gulati and Swati Dixit are just okay. Jayaprakash is wasted as the psychologist. Sinthu Tulani appears briefly but does a decent job and Raja Ravindra, Raksha, Sudigadi Sudheer are all average. The shallow characters simply fail to add any real value. Arjun Bajwa is finally back in Telugu films and despite his part being really small, he manages to deliver. Chitrangada certainly is a good attempt but the narration and screenplay are completely off. The visuals are unimpressive too. For a film that’s being pushed as a thriller, the actual thrills are very few.