Horror and thrillers, without the sleaze like Bollywood, have always been audience’s favorite down south. Much like her previous big-ticket fantasy-thriller, Arundhati, ‘Bhaagamathie’ is Anushka Shetty’s return to the genre after a dismal, Nagavalli.
The movie is set with the backdrop of politics and corruption, with the story being weaved around a righteous IAS officer, Chanchala (played by Anushka Shetty), who is picked up to be used as a pawn in a political battle between the Chief Minister and his highly-ambitious-people’s-man, (played by Jayaram). Chanchala has a dark past of her own and is currently in Police remand. For certain reasons, she is picked up for a covert interrogation by CBI and is taken to a nondescript, old palace – Bhaagamathie Kota, rumored to be haunted by the erstwhile queen of the land, Rani Bhaagamathie.
As expected, the ghosts of the palace come to haunt its new occupants and there are quite a few scary and frightful sequences here. The first half is a bit plain and focuses on developing the characters and the plot of the film. The second half begins with giving the viewers some spine-chilling moments, but ends with a rather odd and far-fetched climax.
This being a typical, masala, Telugu horror flick, I did not expect to use my brain my much, and that is how I was least disappointed. Such movies are required to be enjoyed for the thrill it provides and one should not really look for the logic. But I was a bit disappointed with the climax and the unfathomable urge of our filmmakers to show the lead star positively, come what may! While we recently saw a mainstream star, Ranveer Singh, play a demon every movie-goer loved to hate, wish our Telugu folks also not shy away from portraying the leads with grey or negative shades.
Climax aside, Bhaagamathie has notable performance from Anushka Shetty. She has always been a favorite with directors making female-centric movies and she does not disappoint here. Also, it seems like playing strong and powerful characters is her USP now – from Arundhati to Bahubali, she has proved this time and again. Among the supporting cast Dhanraj and company provide a few laughs. Murali Sharma as ACP and Asha Sarath as the CBI officer lend ample support. The male lead, Shakti (played by Unnimukundan) gets an extended cameo, where he does not have much scope.
It makes for a decent one time watch, but do remember not to delve too much into logic and reasoning.
My rating: 3/5