CHENNAI,UPDATED: Apr 22, 2023 19:27 IST
By Latha Srinivasan: The beginnings of this horror film are in a small village called Rudravanam in 1978 where we see a couple perform black magic and sacrifice a young girl to appease the gods for whatever reasons. The villagers stop the couple from killing their girl children and burn them to death for their heinous crimes. As the woman dies, she gives a curse that all the people in the village will die in 12 years. The villagers though let the couple’s son go and live in an orphanage outside the village and banish him from there.
Cut to 1991, we see Surya (Sai Dharam Tej), his friend and his mother arrive at Rudravanam as the mother wants to donate her land for a good cause for the village. They stay back for the festival of the village deity Modamamba and this is when Surya meets Nandini (Samyuktha), sarpanch Harishchandra Prasad’s (Rajiv Kanakala) daughter. He falls in love with her but soon it is time for him to return to the city and this is when things awry.
Just as the festival begins, one of the villagers falls at the feet of the Goddess in the sanctum sanctorum and dies. This is seen as a bad omen and the villagers are prohibited from leaving Rudravanam for eight days to cleanse the village. But a series of other deaths soon follow and it is finally Nandini who is affected. Surya decides to investigate what is going on. Who is performing black magic in the village? Will Surya be able to save Nandini?
Sai Dharam Tej has made a good comeback after his accident and he performs this role with a lot of ease. But it is Samyuktha who really has a meaty role here and she has more than delivered. The sound design and music by Ajaneesh Loknath has to be commended, as well as the cinematography, since this movie depends a lot on those aspects. This movie is not just about some evil presence – it has been narrated well with a convincing story so that the audience becomes invested in the story. The director has made a good debut and, of course, Sukumar also deserves credit for this.
The movie is rated A due to the violence and some of the scenes depicted. While the climax of the film may appeal to some and not to others, the film focuses on superstitions which some people in the country still believe in. It should be food for thought. On the whole, the film is a good entertainer.