It's all in the mind

It's all in the mind

Lucia
Kannada (U) ¬¬¬
Director: Pawan Kumar
Cast: Neenasam Sathish, Shruthi Hariharan, Achutha Kumar, Sanjay, Balaji Manohar and others

This could be on the lines of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive or Christopher Nolan’s Inception, or even Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Or not.

Attempting to slot Lucia would lead to more confusion in many — playing mindgames with the audience, drawing them out of their comfort zone and questioning their choices ultimately, Lucia also delivers a powerful blow against today’s disenchanted youth increasingly turning to instant gratification and escape from reality while ignoring the unfathomable consequences.

The director has been more careful this time, and patient. The story is well fleshed out as each scene remains in his grasp and goes on to add to the suspense, the expectation of what’s coming next. But the long-drawn out climax, on expected lines, spoils the party somewhat.

Viewers — many of those who have produced the film, the first one in Kannada to be crowd-funded — are left disappointed after being treated to riveting performances, mainly by Neenasam Sathish, Achutha Kumar and Shruthi Hariharan (the latter has an impressive outing).

Pawan mixes elements from the above mentioned films to the plotline but relates it to something burning closer home. He’s not judgmental, yet doesn’t hesitate to show things as they are.

There’s class distinction, rural-urban, economic and social divide while there’s also love and affection that is not overt. There is also a commentary on the sad state single screens in the State have been reduced to. The director presents several possibilities to his script thus.

Balaji Manohar, in another villainous turn after Manasaare, is splendid in his very brief role. So are the scores of others, who are rarely seen onscreen, yet display the confidence of seasoned actors.

The cinematographers and their assistants deserve several rounds of applause. Ditto the DI and other graphics team. Poornachandra Tejaswi’s music brings back rustic flavour back into favour.

A word of caution: Lucia is not for those seeking escapist fare in triple-quick time. Others, do watch it.

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