Seeing movies like Mission Impossible, it is natural for any filmmaker to aspire to create something like that in his own language. Charles Joseph’s Samara, a thriller set against the backdrop of a possible bio-war, is a terrible film that is clueless about including swagger in a movie. While someone like Ethan Hunt is more interested in saving the world, Antony, played by Rahman in Samara, is more interested in boasting his image, and good lord, it’s a facepalm fiesta.
Dr. Alan is this ex-military guy living this lone life in Himachal after his wife divorced him after a fatal injury during one of the army operations. His daughter Jaani is his everything, and just when he was ready to take Jaani back to him, she met with an accident in the snow, getting herself infected with a virus. Officer Antony got involved in the case and suspects this was the beginning of a large-scale event. What we see in Samara is the investigation of this deadly virus and its origin.
The ridiculousness in writing, as if it was trying to cater to some five-year-old, is the fundamental issue with the movie. Imagine Tom Cruise going on a verbal rant before saving the world from a ticking bomb. You will feel like screaming “dude, shut the F up and do your job.” It is precisely what I felt seeing Charles Joseph giving all these money shots to Rahman in this film. Being cool is fine. But Antony felt like a laughable snob. I won’t be surprised if this character becomes meme material post-OTT release. Other than Rahman, there is this overall hastiness for the movie that sort of exposes the lack of research behind the writing.
For a trailer cut or screenshot, every frame featuring Rahman is stylish. But in terms of performance, it was like neither he nor the director knew where to place the irreverence in Antony. Binoj Villya, as Dr. Alan, is actually the most important character in the film, and he gets most of the screen time. Covered in prosthetic makeup, the performance was an okay one. Bharath is there as a scientist, and I laughed at one of the scenes where he was presented in a meeting as a great scientist because he was the son of a great scientist. Sanjana Dipu as Jaani was fine in her role. Govind Krishna, Rahul Madhav, Veer Aryan, Mir Sarwar, etc., are the other major names in the movie’s cast.
The basicness in Charles Joseph’s observation is what makes Samara pretty much an unintentional comedy. It is like watching those amateurish short films with poor dialogues, but Charles has a budget and a skilled cameraman. Thanks to Sinu Siddharth (who also acted as a punching bag for Rahman’s second intro scene), the movie’s visuals are mostly pleasing to the eye. The flaky writing with cringe-worthy heroics and outdated sentiments makes the film difficult to sit through despite having a run time of under two hours.
The confidence of the makers is something that is worth mentioning. Because as a mid-credit scene, we get to see an indirect announcement of a possible sequel to this movie. I am not taking a jibe here when I say this is the kind of confidence I want to see in myself. To believe that your tacky product will leave people wanting more is a rare variety of faith.
While someone like Ethan Hunt is more interested in saving the world, Antony, played by Rahman in Samara, is more interested in boasting his image, and good lord, it’s a facepalm fiesta.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended