Praana (2019) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


There is a short epilogue of sorts that follows ‘Praana’, that affirms that what we have watched is a fictional depiction of the reality around, and reminds us that life, after all is a bit too precious. No worries there. We are gonna pull along hopefully, despite a shaky start to the new cinematic year with an offbeat, and sadly off-track ‘Praana’.


praana-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

There is a short epilogue of sorts that follows ‘Praana’, that affirms that what we have watched is a fictional depiction of the reality around, and reminds us that life, after all is a bit too precious. No worries there. We are gonna pull along hopefully, despite a shaky start to the new cinematic year with an offbeat, and sadly off-track ‘Praana’.

V K Prakash hopes to work up his material into a frenzy, and  establishes through the title cards that there is gonna be a lot of Nithya Menen around. That there is, and she plays Tara Anuradha, a writer who has had to bear the wrath of fundamentalists with her latest book, ‘Music of Freedom’. She decides she needs to take a break, and hence decides to head off to a mansion that is infamous for the spirit that has reportedly occupied it.

praana-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

The opening scene of ‘Praana’ is brilliant, and makes you want to pull out your notepad, as P C Sreeram, the wizard behind the camera, bluntly places the camera on tagged, pale feet that lie on cold stretchers on a mortuary. An instrument bowl that is placed by, mysteriously topples over with a crash, and you get all expectant about what is to follow.

What does follow however is haphazard writing that tries to knot up the supernatural thread with the one that waxes eloquently on intolerance. These are monologues largely, with Tara appearing in press conferences and expressing her opinions, where hardly any questions are asked. She is also seen engaged in conversations over the phone to friends and colleagues, which are again mostly one sided.

praana-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

There is the interval punch that could be spotted from far off if you are watchful enough, and post-interval, the writing gets hazier, and as the script demands the visuals are thrown back and forth in time to make things fall into place. The bowl keeps toppling over, the doll with the dead eyes keeps moving around on its own, and outside the house, sinister figures prowl the night.

The horror icons that ‘Praana’ banks on are the usual ones, but the dread and terror that Tara feels within, if at all, are hardly put across. There could be the counter argument that she is not one to be easily warded off, which is again met by questions regarding the logic behind her irrational final act; one which robs the whole film itself of its purpose.

Nithya Menen is comfortably good as the determined writer who tries to prove a point or two, but the uncomfortable diction leaves a lot to be desired.  In fact, it even robs her performance of the charm that it would have otherwise had. There are also pertinent voice cameos that serve the purpose of building on the curious element, more than anything else

praana-malayalam-movie-review-veeyen

V K Prakash, very obviously has a top-notch technical team with such names as Sreeram and Resul Pookkutty heading the pack. They are incredibly good without doubt, which makes ‘Praana’ a visually brilliant film, whichever way you look at it. Arun Vijay’s musical score is nothing short of delightful as well.

Blood drops will continue to trail across floors, books will continue to tumble down shelves and keyed up toys will persistently hop around letting off the most sinister of hoops and bells. Doors will ceaselessly slam around, an inexplicable moan will eternally ebb across and the water from the shower will seem to have a life of its own. Ah! The horror of it all!


Verdict: Average


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