Abhayam; the dubbed version of the Telugu Danger has come to screens. Seen mostly as a comeback vehicle for Sherin, the movie also has Allari Naresh and Swathi in it; curiously reminding us of Poraali. Abhayam is basically aimed as a thriller about a group of friends who stumble upon some very dark secrets and have to fight off forces that are trying to keep those secrets safe.
Practically, the movie is only about the secret, the serendipitous discovery and the problems following it. This kind of reminds us of ‘The Famous Five’ type of adventures when a group of backpacking friends always come upon a mystery. We are used to such premises in English movies as well with the adventure beginning straight away. But, the script in Abhayam takes ages to start the real proceedings. Almost the entire first half is given to the bonding between the group of friends. While this is acceptable for a while, one cannot take too much of it, especially more than an hour of this stuff which seems to be going round and round in circles; with songs popping up here and there. The bonding lacks any charm or humour; you are left uneasy by the time the story really begins and that is just before the interval.
Once the adventure begins things do perk up a bit. There is excitement in the way the group avoids the dangers lurking and you enjoy the ride. But, the director has made the mistake of trying to be manipulative with the actors and the thrills. You see artificially scared looks by the actors, deep and intense BGM at many unnecessary junctures and a whole lot of such old school tricks. This robs the movie of its credibility as a realistic thriller.
With regards to performances; Allari Naresh has tried something new by letting go off his trademark comic capers, but the role does not allow him to show much of his abilities aside from what we already know. Swathi is in the frames and adheres to the demands of the script while Sherin needs something much better for a strong comeback. Brahmanandam is not treated according to his stature.
Abhayam is a movie that could have done without the lengthy prologue; it contributes nothing towards the movie or the characters. There is no rule stating that a movie made in India should have a running time of 120 minutes at least. The script for Abhayam seems to have been stretched unduly with this kind of a target in mind. Cut the flab in the script and dive straight into the adventure! We would have enjoyed it more.
Verdict: Lengthy prologue spoils promising adventure!