After watching Bollywood movie Ek Tera Saath (horror, 2016) and Tollywood film Aavu Puli Madhyalo Prabhas Pelli
(dark comedy, 2016), this writer placed a bet that no other film in 2016 would epitomize directorial disasters like those two did. But you can apparently never place such bets where Tollywood is concerned, and never take depths for granted.
Eccentric film director Ravi (producer and actor Ravi Babu) is inspired by a series of "true-life events" involving five persons who supposedly turned into vengeful spirits after getting killed by ghosts, and wants to weave these 5 stories together intricately and intelligently into a single horror narrative for an upcoming venture. And so five of his crew members and he, for no particular reason, choose a haunted destination and start playing the Ouija board - an actual board game that supposedly allows you to summon the spirits of the dead.
They summon ghost after ghost, all of who were slain by other ghouls while still alive. The spirits, much to the relief of the crew, have taken a break from their usual kill-spree.
It transpires that the spirits, while they were still humans, pitiably died in circumstances they never intended to be in - who expects to become demon-fodder while they are taking a cosy shower or robbing a family? After the crew's paranormal interaction with the fourth ghoul, Ravi reveals his real motive behind selecting that particular place to play Ouija - to contact the most dangerous spirit of all the five, the fifth in the line-up, and the one that can answer questions from his past that still haunt him. Whether it will narrate its past or bring down hell upon the director and his crew, forms the rest of the mystery.
Neither the comedy nor the horror in Trivikraman may make sense to the average adult. What's even worse is the shoddy direction. It irks you with patched, dented and unconnected story lines. Also, there is barely any spine-chilling horror, which even the average comedy doesn't compensate for.
While Runki Goswami's soundtrack outright violates your eardrums and adds nothing to the already deadpan horror, the cinematography and CG make no effort to terrify you. Each ghost looks like it has been conjured up by someone good at photoshopping memes or by someone in a hurry who just stuck paper cuttings on the actors' faces. The good thing about it is, you at least know they have used CG.
None of the artistes, except maybe Ravi Babu, is worth mentioning for their emoting. But even his serious demeanour won't prompt you to watch this disastrous flick. But the film is just a tad longer than an hour and a half - something you will find yourself thanking the director for.
En fin, this writer is again confident enough to place another bet, as Trivikraman is certainly a new low in horror filmmaking in Tollywood. As for you, you'd better make other plans for this weekend.