118 movie cast: Kalyan Ram, Shalini Pandey, Nivetha Thomas
118 movie director: KV Guhan
118 movie rating: 2 stars
Director KV Guhan seems to have been deeply inspired by famous television show CID as the characters in his new film, 118, repeat known information over and over again with the effect of a big dramatic reveal. This is Guhan’s second directorial outing since his debut in 2010 with Tamil film Inidhu Inidhu, the official remake of Telugu hit Happy Days.
Guhan’s latest film revolves around an incident that took place in room no – 118 at a resort. It is an investigate thriller that borrows a few themes from horror and sci-fi genres. The result is one big pretentious show that ruins a potentially good idea due to the director’s lack of originality. The story has been bent and twisted to fit into an overused commercial template.
Nandamuri Kalyan Ram’s Gowtham is an investigative journalist, who uses his observational skills to spot breaking stories even in unlikely places. Firstly, Gowtham can be passed off as a vocational vlogger, who punches above his weight for an adrenaline rush. But, his lifestyle and working style makes it hard to believe he is a busy and famous journalist. He seems to be always on vacation, partying and going on offroad drives. We hardly see him at his TV station.
One night, Gowtham wakes up from a nightmare. He saw a girl being brutally hit by a few men in the room that he is staying at a resort. Again, he goes to the same resort with his friends to party. He lands up in the same room for the night. The nightmare reoccurs. He is not ready to brush it off this time and sees a dream doctor, clownishly played by Nassar. The doctor tells him to ignore the “thriller film” created by his thoughts and move on with his life. Gowtham does the same until he finds himself at a quarry that he saw in his dreams. Without thinking twice, he jumps into the water and finds the car that he saw in his dream. Thus the conclusion: a girl was killed in room number 118 and her car was disposed of at the abandoned quarry.
The cops are called in, the car is lifted out, but the official investigation doesn’t happen. In a way, we are told that the cops are too incompetent to follow such a big lead. The cops are just used as a prop to help provide the required help to Gowtham in his investigation and then simply vanish. While watching the film, it’s clear that Guhan cared less about other characters. Shalini Pandey plays Gowtham’s love interest in the film and she hardly gets any speaking lines. The villains are so superficial that the actors who play them must have cried their way to the bank. Nivetha Thomas’ Aadya character reminds us of Ghajini’s Kalpana and that is a major turn off.
Guhan’s film is rife with unoriginal ideas that it becomes very difficult for the audience to forgive and just focus on the story.
In the meantime, 118 is a big step up for Kalyan Ram by the standards of the films that he has done of late. It doesn’t give you a migraine and that is a good start. We should appreciate the actor for trying to make a meaningful movie. But, he should be more careful in saying no to scenes that are so pretentious that they are downright silly.