Director: G. Ashok
Cast: Anushka Shetty, Jayaram, Asha Sharrath and Murali Sharma
Rating: 3 stars
Bhaagmathie is Anushka Shetty’s first release since Baahubali 2 and it’s a film you can’t take easily. It’s an uneven thriller that, while ticking all the tropes usually associated with the horror genre, manages to pack a solid punch with a series of twists, which pay off handsomely, giving the film a perfectly entertaining closure.
Cut from the same cloth as Vijay Sethupathi’s Pizza, Anushka’s Bhaagmathie takes the horror genre for granted, only to deceive us with some smart writing and twists. While it’s not tough to guess the twist (if you’re smart) mid way through the film, Bhaagmathie still achieves what most films in this genre have failed to accomplish. Full credit to writer-director Ashok for whipping up a thriller that’s unlike anything Telugu industry has produced.
The plot revolves around IAS officer Chenchala, adminstrative secretary to a minister, who is believed to be corrupt to the core. CBI takes Chenchala into custody to see if they can find any lead to red-handedly bust the minister and lock her up in an old mansion, rumoured to be inhabited by the ghost of Queen Bhaagmathie. The events that follow in the mansion forms the crux of the story.
Anushka Shetty is terrific in a role she owns and does full justice. There are moments where she reminds us of her versatility, especially why she’s more suitable play fierce characters more than a romantic lead. There are portions where her performance is reminiscent of Vikram’s part from Anniyan and it’s a treat to watch her take control of the story. She’s well backed by Jayaram, who goes beyond the regular villain. Unni Mukundan shines briefly.
Bhaagmathie is a welcome departure from the done to death horror genre and the surprise twists elevate an otherwise dreary film that could’ve been slightly shorter.