Evaru Is A Better Adaptation Of The Invisible Guest Than Badla

Evaru(Telugu)

Starring  Adivi Sesh, Regina Cassandra, Naveen Andrews

Directed  by  Venkat Ramji

Rating: ****(4 Stars)

No  matter how  cynical you are about suspense  thrillers, the end-twist in Evaru(which very appropriately means ‘Who Are you’) will leave you  stunned to the core.

Frankly I never saw that  concluding finale coming.  It  is a measure  of  the very  adventurous  Adivi Sesh’s derring-do  that he  plunges into the  thriller genre once again after the fabulous Kshanam(ramade into Hindi as the awful Baaghi 2) and Goodachari and  he  still succeeds beyond all expectations in  creating a whodunit that  stays a step ahead  of the audience even if you have seen  the Spanish film The  Invisible  Guest  and its  faithful Hindi remake Badla last year.

Evaru makes bold departure from the original and yet remains faithful to the original content  about an unfaithful  woman. This   is a masked  treatise  on  marital  discontent gone  horribly awry. Adivi Sesh plays  the kind of seedy greedy   cop whose incongruous  suaveness  would make your blood  crawl.   He is  sent to  pre-empt murder accused Regina Cassandra’s  grilling in the  courtroom…Something like , what  would  you say if the Judge  throws this  accusation at you.

Second –guessing never seemed  so seductive. The verbose  exchanges between  Vikram (Adivi)  and Sameera(Regina) are fraught with a smothered fury. You know  there is something  building up here which  is  far more  explosive than a woman pretending to be a Hithcockian heroine when her avaricious aspirations are way  too low to hit  the  graceful indiscretions of  a classic murder victim

It is hard  not to be sucked into the world of crime and infidelity that  director Venkat Ramji creates  out of the  original Spanish film, which I felt  was felled by its own self righteous  anger. Significantly and  perhaps conveniently,  Evaru  builds a case  for Sameera’s infidelity by showing her  husband to be gay.

This may initially seems  like  a cop-out  in more ways than one,  what with the cop-hero outing the  gay husband in Sameera’s loveless marriage. But then the  plot constructs into a kind of  hurling spiral that  leaves  you with no  room to judge  the  female protagonist  kindly or unkindly.

 Think  Tapsee in Badlaa. That’s Regina Cassandra, icily self-motivated shrugging  off her  moral responsibilities towards  her  loveless marital arrangement as she plunges into an extra-marital relationship with   the  seemingly amoral  Ashok(played with  a deliberate brimming-at-the-top volatility  by Naveen Andrews which is far  more effective than Tony Luke’s  whiny infidelity on Badla).

 But it’s Adivi Sesh whose  quietly projected  cockiness spreads itself  outwards in the plot creating a climate of ominous anxiety,  never quite expressed openly  until the end when the  final twist implodes  onto the screenplay in a way I’ve not seen  happening in  any  Indian thriller. Indeed Evaru is the smartest thriller  in recent times comparable only with the Hindi Andha Dhun where the  hero made  us feel he could or couldn’t see, depending on  what he wanted  or didn’t want to see.

In Evaru Adivi’s Vikram sees  everything. We don’t. It takes  us  time to see  what  Vikram does.  The moment  of recognition  is so stunning that the  light will blind you.Go, experience  the  thrill of watching  a  suspense  drama that  is at once stylish and  persuasive.

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