Updated: October 8, 2021 8:15:52 am
Bhramam is the second southern remake of the Bollywood hit Andhadhun. Maestro that was released earlier made me question the point of remakes when filmmakers have nothing of value to add to them. After suffering through the Telugu remake, I dreaded the thought of sitting through another version of Andhadhun. I wondered what fresh angle would Ravi K Chandran have to offer to the audience.
Unlike the Telugu remake Maestro, the makers of Bhramam haven’t altered the very DNA of the original, by turning this movie into a hero’s journey. Instead, Bhramam doubles down on the amorality of the protagonist, reinvigorating the narration with some much-needed freshness.
Ravi K. Chandran has tipped the balance of power mostly in favour of Ray Mathews (Prithviraj). Unlike Akash in Andhadhun, Ray appears more in control of the situation that happens in the aftermath of the loss of his vision. Ray doesn’t have high moral reasons to stop Simi (Mamta Mohandas) and her beefed-up lover Abhinav (Unni Mukundan). He is simply motivated by his need to survive and get even with those who wronged him. There is no helpless girl in the corner waiting for Ray to appear in his shining armour as we saw in Maestro.
In fact, Ray is more wicked than Ayushmann Khurrana’s Akash. The original film was a story about a man who pretends to be blind to protect him from otherworldly temptations that could disturb his focus from music. Ray, however, acts like a blind man to exploit the social and economic benefits earmarked for people with disabilities. He is upset that he lost a teaching job to a lesser qualified person only because he has the gift of sight, which the latter didn’t. He is a lot meaner and selfish than the previous two versions of his character.
Ray is so nasty that he’s willing to exact a heavy toll on Simi for blinding him by openly expressing his interest to harvest her cornea for his own sake. This explicit wickedness of Ray adds an edge to the narrative.
Ravi K Chandran has also packed little surprises that sort of subverts our knowledge of the unfolding story. For example, Ray’s true intention behind pretending to be blind. Or the parkour skills demonstrated by an unheroic character. There are little things that spice up our experience and even subvert our expectations. These new additions also point towards the mindfulness of the makers to innovate with the material as much as they could.
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