Face 2 Face: A mostly watchable romantic thriller

Face 2 Face: A mostly watchable romantic thriller

Face 2 Face

Movie: Face 2 Face

Director: Sandeep Janardhan

Cast: Rohit Bhanuprakash, Divya Uruduga, Purvi Joshi, Suchendra Prasad.

Rating: 3 stars

Face 2 Face's biggest selling point was debutant director Sandeep Janardhan's experience of working under Upendra. Late into the first-half, Upendra's influence isn't hard to miss.

Sneha (Divya Uruduga) is aware of Santosh's (Rohith Bhanuprakash) relationship with Preethi (Purvi Joshi). She still wants him and has no qualms in expressing her feelings. She doesn't mind being his 'spare wheel.' She is ready to be his 'other woman'.

You either laugh at the suddenness of the scene or try to get into Sneha's shoes or silently sort out the confusion in your head. Upendra struck a chord with the youth with this kind of absurd ideas. Though not a powerful one, Face 2 Face is Sandeep's tribute to his mentor. But in doing so, Sandeep also leaves a slight impression.

It's tough to care for the first 30 minutes of Face 2 Face. Sandeep adopts a soft approach --deals with songs -- to establish the mother sentiment and the love triangle. These portions required solid drama. But the first twist lifts the film and Face 2 Face begins to get interesting.

Sandeep attempts to discuss relationships through the lens of possibility. Face 2 Face reflects the everyday stories of gruesome crime or strange illnesses that mar couples and families, leaving us shocked. In the love story, the meet-cute, fortunately, is dealt intelligently. And the fascinating twists make the film mostly engaging at every turn.

The writing is noteworthy but towards the end, the execution falters. Just like the beginning, the film feels rushed. Rohith as the man torn between two women is just fine. But it's the leading ladies that make Face 2 Face watchable. Purvi Joshi finely underplays the role of an unconditional lover while Divya is powerful in her complex role.

The film also tries to fit in nods to current affairs like the growing debate on dubbing in Kannada and the growing competition between telephone networks. It aims a sly dig at film critics. 'They want to play it safe and that's why they give three stars even for a good film,' says one of the lead characters.

Face 2 Face gets three stars. It's not about playing safe. It's a rating that decent movies deserve.

Vivek M V