Oke Oka Jeevitham (Kanam) Movie Review: A well-written and executed sci-fi drama with a soulful climax
Oke Oka Jeevitham (Kanam in Tamil) Movie Review: While the film doesn't offer magical surrealism (it should have), its themes make up for the shortcoming.
Name: Oke Oka Jeevitham
Director: Shree Karthick
Cast: Ritu Varma,Amala Akkineni
A peculiar feature of this time-travel sci-fi drama (it is a drama in the sense that a myriad of emotions are the bedrock of its story) is that it doesn't shy away from becoming a feel-good movie more than an eventful script in the first hour. Its first major attempt at offering an element that was not seen in the trailer of the film comes at the interval. And when it comes, we find the main characters encountering a dead end. The resolution doesn't happen through usual plot devices or standard-fare ideas. The climax is written to justify the film's central message, which is rooted in a slightly philosophical worldview and which can't be revealed without giving away a major spoiler.
You can say, with some caveats, that the film is not about three principal characters, but six of them. Aadhi (Sharwanand, as an aspiring musician who lives in a denial about his stage fear), Chaitanya (Priyadarshi, as a groom-to-be who is a prisoner of his high expectations in life) and Seenu (Vennela Kishore, as a rental agent who feels people call him a broker as an insult) are not the only ones driving the story forward. Their younger versions, too, have as much say in how the situation at hand goes from bad to worse. This is where 'Oke Oka Jeevitham' defies conventional expectations from a time-travel film.
While the film doesn't offer magical surrealism (it should have), its themes make up for the shortcoming. When the three friends have to contend with their younger selves, the theme that plays out is a commentary on the lives of a lot of us: it is as if Chaitanya and Seenu are venting out their frustrations at their younger selves for the wrong choices they made. In some of the moments, the film assumes a generic flavour. The writing department eschews the temptation of cheesy humour.
The dramatic progressions are attended by songs set to montages. Jakes Bejoy's melodies, deepened by the dramatic turn of events in Aadhi's life, make for a pleasant experience. 'Maaripoye' is a song that captures the quirks of the unreal nature of the story.
The time machine, the "key to immortality", becomes a centerpiece in a few scenes. The unwise curiosity of a set of characters leads to a new set of problems. How the worsening of the situation for the key players affects their lives is narrated at a leisurely pace.
Even when the film turns melodramatic in an unapologetic manner, even when the pacing issues crop up, and even when some coincidences are passed off as works of destiny, you don't want to complain much. It's because you buy into the flawed characters: Chaitanya's imperfections, Seenu's self-pitying nature, and Aadhi's slice-of-life imperfections make the film intimate (it should have been a more personal film, though).
Nasser plays a scientist who has been affected by a failed mission for decades. Amala Akkineni as Aadhi's mother is brilliant in every scene; her approach to the role is devoid of over-the-top acting that a lot of onscreen mothers have come to throw at the audience. Her scenes with Sharwanand could have been more touching, though.
The production values are impressive, with Sujith Sarang's cinematography being consistent.
Check out the film's trailer below:
NET Worth: ~ 344.45 MN USD (RS 2,850 cr)
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