Verdict: K.V. Guhan delivers an impressive start to this directing career.

Ace cinematographer K.V. Guhan, who shot to fame with movies like Kushi, Athadu, Jalsa, Dhookudu and many others, makes his directorial debut in Telugu with 118. Starring Kalyan Ram, Shalini Pandey, and Nivetha Thomas, the out-of-the-box trailer and its captivating concept has created enough buzz on social media. Billed to be a thriller laced with romantic drama, it promises to strike a chord with the genre lovers. Kalyan Ram is known to spring up surprises when the chips are down. Will he manage the same with 118? Let’s see.

What’s 118 About:

Gautham (Kalyan Ram) is a journalist who is puzzled about a dream that haunts him frequently. In the dream, Aadhya (Nivetha Thomas) is killed. Gautham and his friends try to find clues from the dream to link them to Aadhya’s whereabouts. Who she is and how she is related to Gautham makes up for the rest of the plot.

What Works:

118 is one of Kalyan Ram’s finest acts till date. Though Puri Jagannadh is credited to give him the much-deserved makeover in ISM, it is K.V. Guhan who uses this transformation to the fullest. Nivetha Thomas steals the show with her stellar performance in the last 20 minutes. Shalini Pandey’s character in K. V. Guhan’s 118 seems to be an extension of her role in Arjun Reddy and she plays it to perfection. The rest of the cast, which includes Prabhas Sreenu, Nassar, Harshavardhan, Ashok Kumar, Narsimha and Rajeev Kanakala, delivers their best. The baby artiste who portrays the role of Prabhavati is excellent.

Though K.V. Guhan’s cinematographer skills come to the foray in 118, the screenplay and direction impress you the most. The way he carries the final parts of the movie is appreciable. Shekhar Chandra’s back ground score complements the theme and the two melodies in the movie are already chartbusters. Thammiraju’s editing is a killer that keeps your eyes glued to the screen throughout. Mahesh Koneru is back in business after Naa Nuvve.

What Could’ve Been Better:

Though the screenplay is racy and the narration is tight, the basic plot seems unreal. The way the protagonist finds clues one after the other from his dream lack the required depth. Nevertheless, the makers must be appreciated for sticking to the plot and delivering what they promised.

Why You Should Watch:

118 is a fast-paced edge-of-the-seat thriller that engages you throughout with its crisp editing and racy screenplay. The emotional catapult amalgamated with surprise thrills makes it a decent watch.