The story of Bhaagamathie, starring Anushka Shetty, is nothing like what was urged by the filmmakers through the theatrical trailer and the alarming posters. it was imagined to keep the audience on the edge-of-the-seat with a spine-chilling backstory of the central character Bhaagamathie, a ghost from the past century. it was imagined to send the shiver down our spines whereas we witness the horrors suffered by the characters that wander into Bhaagamathie’s territory. Instead, we get a blown-out version of Tamil film pizza. And shades of all horror movies that are created in the South Indian movie industry so far.
The mere mention of Bhaagamathie bungalow, as one character puts it, makes even grown-ups wet their pants. The legend has it that Bhaagamathie murdered individuals, who dare to enter her palace compound as a part of her voodoo. However, a top police officer, played by Murali Sharma, thinks that’s precisely the kind of place he desires to lock-up Chancala (Anushka Shetty) and investigate her in connection with a scam.
Chancala, a dishonored IAS officer in a murder case, had worked as a private secretary to a minister, played by Jayaram. The conscience of Jayaram’s character and his record is so clean that the central government feels threatened and wants to frame him in a corruption case. or so director G Ashok needs us to believe. but we’ve seen enough movies to understand where the film is taking us.
The biggest drawback of Bhaagamathie is it gets predictable after some extent. All the build-up from the start of the film ends up in the moment where Bhaagamathie reveals herself, wrapped in a very red sari and with antique jewellers, mouthing the tag line that has become a big hit on the net, ‘Bhaagamathie Adda.’ It’s interval, you guessed it. and the narration goes into a free-fall from there on. The film later wades into a sociopolitical territory forfeiting the horror theme in the middle of the half. The theme that helped the film to fill up cinema halls in the 1st place.
Chanchala is on a mission to revenge his fiance Shakthi (Unni Mukundan), who was taken from her by a few corrupt minds in the society. They framed Chanchala for committing the crime. The film does very little to create the audience care regarding Shakthi and what happens to him. except for the actual fact that he’s a conventional hero character with a degree from Australia and has given up profitable jobs to work for the welfare of individuals in his village. (I yawned twice already). the moment Ashok, who has also written this film, takes Bhaagamathie out of the equation, the film turns into a snooze-fest.
Ashok does manage to creep us out using the tried-and-tested tropes of the horror genre in the starting however mostly i was left wriggling in the seat as I felt i was drowning in the hollowness of the narration. the only character that had my attention was Bhaagamathie however it had been also rendered empty due to Chanchala’s revenge theme.
Chanchala has cliche written all over her. She is a naive sensible soul that suddenly turns treacherous and whips up a master plan that fools the CBI, science and technology. Anushka lifts the mood with the loud burst of her performance as the possessed lady however her Chanchala character is a letdown. Thaman’s loud background score created me cower than scenes that were speculated to be giving me nightmares.
The main downside of Ashok’s narrative is he provides up the suspense a part of the story terribly early. The ‘big twist’ and the film as an entire package might have pleased us far better, if solely Ashok had command onto the suspense till the end.