Note: Originally written in July 2016
There's a sequence around the pre-climax of this film that clearly defines the sheer finesse with which it has been crafted. The protagonist (Adivi Sesh) finds out the person behind the mystery that drives the film, and is about to head out for a final confrontation. The camera focuses into a set of details of the typical inspirational variety; a motorcycle being kickstarted, revved up, et al. and in the background is the gritty 'Pada Pada Pranama' track ramping up the thrill. Yet, it is the way all of that comes together, almost fading in and swooping up the ambience, partly thanks to the deft editing, that amplifies an edge of the seat feel. So much care has been showered upon the technical aspects of this film, in this pre-climax moment and otherwise, that it is almost bemusing to realize that this is an Indie effort. If only much of mainstream Telugu cinema had these sensitivities and concern for artistic finesse! Adivi Sesh and Ravikanth Perepu, the latter being the man at the helm, come up a gritty plot that doesn't bite more than it can chew and thus is delivered by way of a careful screenplay that manages to be equal parts clinically thrilling and thoroughly emotion driven. Shaneil Deo's visuals are sharp in the way of most modern Indie flicks and Sricharan Pakala's soundtrack has very deep roots and richness, despite its rough engineering quality. "Kshanam" doesn't miss a beat and by way of that, is the best Telugu film of 2016 so far.
Check out more on the film at IMDB and Letterboxd.
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