Cast: Varun Tej, Aditi Rao Hydari, Lavanya Tripathi, Rehman, Avasarala Srinivasa Rao, Pavani Reddy
Director: Sankalp Reddy
Director Sankalp Reddy takes Telugu cinema, indeed Indian cinema, to new heights with Anthariksham, the first complete space film made in the country. He has an enviable reputation after the national award winner Ghazi, his debut that was also India’s first underwater film. Naturally, expectations are sky high.
Sankalp Reddy proved with Ghazi that he is not only talented but could come up with subjects never seen before in Telugu cinema. His attempt with Anthariksham is appreciable, and the way he has made the film in quick time using graphics is commendable.
A technical problem arises in the Indian satellite Mihira and the space centre director (Rehman) tries to rectify it. Scientists Mohan (Avasarala) and Riya (Aditi Rao) too fail in fixing it. The satellite can bring down the global system, and the only person who can repair it is Dev (Varun Tej), a former scientist of the space centre. Dev has left the space centre after a failed mission and a personal tragedy, and teaches in a school. Riya takes the responsibility of bringing Dev back. He agrees, but he also has a secret mission.
Sankalp Reddy should be appreciated for making the space scenes believable though he used computer graphics. It is difficult to believe that most of the film is shot in a private studio. It never looks so on screen as the director has done wonderful pre-production work with the cinematographer.
Another plus is that the director sticks to what he wants to tell and continues with that. The film allows quite a few flights of fancy. Dev gets to fly to space on his own to rectify a problem. Midway, he wants to change the spaceship’s path. And towards the end Dev borrows from the stunt book of Rajanikanth or Balakrishna. While it breaks barriers, Anthariksham faces a few problems. Sankalp Reddy has been unable to recreate the gripping narration seen in Ghazi. The concept is very good, but there is too much of computer and space jargon, too many calculations, which makes it difficult to follow. The film belongs to director Sankalp Reddy, cinematographer Gnana Shekar and art directors Ramakrishna and Monica who make the space scenes and the satellite sequences believable.
There is some interesting scenes in the second half and they come out very nicely. Music by Prashanth Vihari is definitely a big plus.
Varun Tej looks good and has done a commendable job as a young scientist. Avasarala Srinivasa Rao and Rehman support very well. Aditi Rao Hydari’s performance is neat. Lavanya Tripathi’s role is short but she plays an important part. Satya Dev appears as twins and Pavani Reddy has a supporting role.
It’s good to see a Telugu director like Sankalp Reddy making the first space thriller in India. He should be appreciated for making it within budget and in a short time. It’s a different attempt in a different genre, the first of its kind in the domestic scene....