Cast: Gautami, Krishnan Balakrishnan, Ashiq Ameer, Nithya Naresh
Director: Kuku Surendran
Touted to be a horror thriller, E is a movie that fails to evoke either fear or thrill. Yes, there are all the usual gimmicks — a shady past, possessed person, black magician, youth in an ancient house, blood, shadows, chants, rituals and a parapsychologist — but the two essential ones — suspense and fright.
The movie begins in the usual horror pattern — a human sacrifice by a black magician and his visually-challenged accomplice (Krishnan), followed by the opening credits. Wannabe filmmaker Karthik (Ashiq) and his friends, as part of making a documentary on Alzheimers, visit Malathy (Gautami), his school teacher and an Alzheimers patient. At a 100-year-old palatial house, a part of which is a homestay, lives Malathy along with her daughter Athira (Nithya) and a couple of servants.
After a couple of songs, humorous moments between the friends and a few feeble attempts to scare, only almost halfway through the movie do the makers seem to realise this is a horror thriller. From then on, it takes the supernatural, myth-laden route. The screenplay by Harikumar and Rohan Bajaj fails to make a connect with the audience, regarding the friendship, romance, humour or even in inducing fear.
Manoj Pillai’s frames are stunning — from the picturesque Alappuzha to the urban Thiruvananthapuram, his camera captures everything in its full charm, except the spookiness, if any. What made the film lose steam is its failure to convince and most importantly, to scare — all jumpy moments are highly predictable; the audience just has to wait for it to happen. At some moments, sitting through too many shots and pauses in a scene, the wait reaches the point of boredom.
The lead cast and the songs are the best parts of the movie. The charming Gautami steals the show by portraying Malathy teacher with all innocence, fun and mischief. She excels in the emotional scenes, but struggles a bit as the possessed woman. The mother-daughter bond has been conveyed well. The beautiful Nithya puts up a good act without the nervousness of a one-film-old. The newbie Ashiq, though fumbles in certain scenes, has the potential to come up the ladder.
Rahul Raj’s songs come as a whiff of fresh air in between the lags. The semiclassical Pranavakaram, energetic Arupathu Maram and the peppy Divayanam are sure to stay in the hit charts for some time....