It's always an uphill task to remake a film, whose original version is exceptional. First of all, there is a challenge in exploring a suspense that is no more there and then it has to be at least close to the first one in terms of style in storytelling. Bhramam, starring Prithviraj Sukumaran and Mamta Mohandas in lead roles, has always had these hurdles right from the word go. Directed by Ravi K Chandran, the Malayalam film based on the critically acclaimed Hindi movie Andhadhun has been released on Amazon Prime.
After a jittery start the saga climbs on track and moves ahead apace with the rhythm of the original movie. You may wait to watch what's in addition to a tale that had once set the senses fizzy. Of course, performance would be counted as prime since we know the story already. The backdrop, suaveness of actors and the visual brilliance lend a freshness that is unmatching and will carry you to a long distance. The narrative very effectively recreates the turbulence and holds our attention till the credits roll up.
As the story progresses, we meet Ray, played by Prithviraj, a pianist, who is 'blind' and ambitious, and waiting to move to Europe. He lives in an apartment of a convent. His music is loved by one and all around him. One day, a girl crosses his path and the minor accident connects them. The girl's affection towards the man and his music earns him a chance for a jig at her dad's cafe. Udaya Kumar (Shankar), a yesteryear actor and now a real estate business tycoon, is overwhelmed by Ray's music and demeanour. He invites Ray to his residence to perform to make it a surprise gift for his wife Simi (Mamta Mohandas) on their wedding anniversary.
The eventful journey of Ray, the 'blind' pianist, from the moment he sets foot in the house of Udaya Kumar and the mess he is embroiled in thereafter form the course of the story. Prithviraj at his flamboyant best keeps the frames graceful throughout the movie. He essays Ray's character, his whims, foibles and turmoil with elan. Meanwhile, Raashi Khanna as Anna presents herself as a tender, innocent girl who falls for Ray instantly.
Performance-wise almost all actors have been immaculate. Mamta Mohandas displays a matchless maturity in exuding the agony, confusion or viciousness her character undergoes. Slipping into a darker shade, Unni Mukundan nails the character of C I Dinesh. Shankar as Udaya Kumar, Sudheer Karamana as SI Soman, Jagadeesh as Dr. Swami and the rest of the cast remain well-attached to the narrative.
While the power of the story keeps us glued to the screen what have cost it dearly are the melodramatic dialogues and the mawkish reactions of characters. They appear now and then throughout the movie like sutures that leave the sequences unnatural and the drama incoherent. The jarring of the dubbing is clearly evident. The subtle humour, which was attempted painfully at odd intervals, doesn't seem to work either.
Ravi K Chandran's camera has captured Kochi in a distinct hue that is fresh and outlandish. Jakes Bejoy's music is novel and refreshing. Bhramam will be a fabulous treat for those who haven't watched Andhadhun, and for those who have seen it, a revisit would be inevitable.