Streaming on Zee5
Actor Vaibhav Reddy and director Venkat Prabhu have been seen and appreciated as an entertaining humorous combination in blockbusters like Chennai 600028, Goa and Saroja. In Lockup directed by debutant SG Charles, the latter tests his acting chops in an investigative thriller along with Vaibhav and an ensemble cast featuring Eshwari Rao, Vani Bhojan and Poorna amongst others. When senior officer Ilavarisi (Eshwari Rao) is called to investigate the murder of an inspector in charge of a precinct, she opens up a can of worms. With two officers in line for a promotion (Vaibhav Reddy and Venkat Prabhu) hiding secrets to further their agenda and a young mother in an apparent suicide (Poorna) also linked to the case, will Officer Ilavarasi be able to get to the bottom of this murky mess?
Story holds promise
Director SG Charles waste little time in establishing the plot and lays it out matter of factly in a non-linear style. The twists lie not in the characters but in the smaller details that they provide at each juncture.The facts of the two intertwined crimes in question are unravelled in titbits that succeed in holding your attention sufficiently. What we therefore get is pockets of interesting surprises that form an intriguing plotline and credit must go to the screenplay for presenting it in this manner.
The grey shades need more grey cells
Both Venkat Prabhu and Vaibhav Reddy have been given characters with interesting arcs to explore. While the former is competent in portraying the negative shades in his Inspector Moorthy,Vaibhav Reddy plays his cop as a one-dimensional wooden personage. Further,both these roles could have benefitted from a more nuanced exploration of their motives beyond just their superficial gains. Among the other actors, Eshwari Rao turns in an impressive performance while Poorna has a small though significant role.But Vani Bhojan is utterly wasted as Vaibhav’s love interest and has no bearing on the story whatsoever.
A bold but rushed climax
Lockup culminates in strong climax that would have been more effective if it wasn’t in such a hurry to connect the dots. As a result, the final reveal though intriguing feel too simplistic while certain portions are marred by a lack of logic.A more introspective approach and a tighter cohesion in the thought process could have elevated the film to greater heights.
WATCH OR NOT
Lock up is a decent thriller that does not overstay its welcome at a crisp hour and 45 minutes. Watch it to see Venkat Prabhu in a different light and for a story that is mostly suspenseful and engaging.
Director: SG Charles
Cast: Venkat Prabhu,Vaibhav Reddy,Eshwari Rao, Vani Bhojan
Music: Arrol Corelli
Streaming on: Zee 5