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Gaganam Movie review
It has been a while since we came across an honest, persuasively narrated and scrupulously tasteful recreation of a real life incident. Though 'Experimentation' has become a key factor in Tamil cinema for the past few years, it's the Madurai mania that still dominates. Movies that narrate a national problem, especially terrorism, are comparatively less in Kollywood. But this Gaganam has an answer to all!
The film is special for many reasons: Gaganam brings Telugu star Nagarjuna back to Kollywood after a long gap; with this film, romantic specialist Radha Mohan is venturing into his first action flick; National award winner Prakashraj, who gave us some memorable movies, is back as a producer.
Gaganam is a whiff of fresh air set in the backdrop of a flight hijack!
To attempt to synopsize the film is to give too much away, even though it is based on a real life incident. The random cruelty of the terrorists can make a routine day come into sharp focus in Gaganam! This idea is explored in provocative ways.
A flight from Chennai carrying 75 passengers (including a Cabinet minister and a top actor) is hijacked and brought to Tirupathi by five terrorists. Home Secretary Vishwanath (Prakashraj) and other higher officials reach the spot immediately for negotiations. But the terrorists demand the release of their leader and Rs. 100 crores as a condition to free the plane and its passengers. We also have NSG commando chief Raveendaran (Nagarjuna) who wants to initiate a commando operation rather than negotiate.
And that is all we are going to tell you about the story.
Now that sure looks like a serious ride! But director Radha Mohan has added plenty of comedy elements to make the film lighter and help it land smoothly in the box office.
First, kudos to Prakashraj and Radha Mohan for their wonderful attempt. In fact, the film has no songs, romantic tracks or masala fights. In many other ways, Gaganam is intelligently nuanced from its character development to the issues raised to the visual feel. Experienced directors say that a movie is not made by one person; it is only through the best contributions from everyone involved that a film achieves excellence! We agree! Each and every character in the film is well etched and has performed well. And the one who stands tall above all is Nagarjuna. He fits the bill perfectly: a smart and intelligent commando officer who thinks out-of-the-box. (Handsome does not hurt either!)
Interestingly, all the characters in the film, including Sana Khan, Bharath Reddy, Prithviraj, Manobala, Brahmanandam and others, have meaty roles to play.
It's Radha Mohan all the way! He has the knack of conveying a serious issue as a sweet entertainer. Though the film is an edge-of-the-seat thriller, the comedy one-liners (especially the Shining star track) make it more interesting. Cinematographer K.V. Guhan, music director Pravin Mani and art director Muthuraj need special mention. Though the film has been shot inside a created airport set, it is truly realistic. The church bell and the cell phone sequences are heart wrenching.
Cheers to Nagarjuna, Radha Mohan and Prakashraj for this innovative effort. This Payanam/ Gaganam is definitely a new and thrilling experience for Tamil and Telugu audiences!