Praana is not a Lovecraftian horror tale. It comes off as a blending of Paranormal Activity and Lois Lane in a rather inquisitive act that prompts the heroine to complete the investigation activities beyond human comprehension. Being the first film in India to use the surround sync facility, the true accomplishment is watching it in a Dolby 4K atmos.
Tara Anuradha (Nithya Menen) has decided to flee from the society when her book ‘Music of Freedom’ is rejected due to controversy. Headstrong, in her attitude and a believer of liberty, she finds it difficult to live as she is continuously threatened. Realizing that even the law isn’t on her side, though it pretends to be, she takes a break from it all and that forms the storyline of Praana.
Although the director VK Prakash has denied any resemblance of the journalist Tara, to the journalist Gauri Lankesh, who was silenced because of her expressive writing, her life and her decision to park herself in a haunted house, it all reflects the idea that politically, we are not so free at all. As for the performance of Nithya Menen, it very natural and she can safely place Praana, in her hall of fame. Last seen almost two years ago in industry, this comeback is indeed power packed. We have mass movies on one side and experimental ones like this on the other. No one remembers Sunil Dutt’s Yadaeein and Kalabhavan Mani’s The Guard.
But the climax comes off as a tad disappointing after all those suspense-filled moments. One is forced to think, writing could have been much solid. But then again, Nithya’s screen presence compensated for this loss. The sound editing of Oscar Winner Resul Pookuty has to be recognized. The minutest detail in high clarity audio is new to the industry. This is even more important when the film falls under the thriller genre.
The cinematography taken care of by PC Sreeram is top notch and doesn’t fail to capture the emotions of Tara and the spookiness of the house. Arun Vijay is the music director and ‘Oruvaakin Mounam’ captures the spirit, that the director is trying to convey. The idea of self isolation is unthinkable in today’s society, but when circumstances are threatening enough, you’re left with no choice. Although there are some cameo ‘appearances’ that you’ve to watch out for, this is indeed a magnum opus for the cast and crew as Praana stands out for its technical brilliance, the stellar performance and in depth writing that focusses on contemporaneity.
I'm Abhijith, the guy behind the film review you just read. As they say, Movies maketh the man. Reviews aren't meant to butcher a work of art, but rather to see it in a microscope. I'm a freelance writer and been in this field for more than 5 years. When I'm not reviewing, you can spot me reading my Kindle while drinking tea in the nearest kiosk. An aspiring polyglot and ardent comic reader, I call myself an amateur litterateur.