'Mukhachitram' was released in theatres on Friday. Here is our review of the drama.
Mahati (Priya Vadlamani) is a shy and timid woman from a traditional family in a village. Dr. Raj Kumar (Vikas Vasishta as a plastic surgeon) marries her in an arranged marriage set-up and brings her to the city. Maya Fernandez (Ayesha Khan), who is his childhood love, is heartbroken in the meanwhile.
Months after Mahati and Raj Kumar get married, a tragedy strikes them. A plastic surgery later, Maya 'becomes' Mahati. The rest of the film is about the dynamics that shape the relationship between her and Raj Kumar.
The film, written by Sandeep Raj and directed by Gangadhar, attempts to be a new-age drama but it ends up becoming a beast it didn't intend to. It touches upon a social issue and, through Vishwak Sen's special role, conveys the anguish of countless victims. In a process that spans the entire length of the drama, the film becomes confused with its own identity.
The last 20 minutes were billed to be mind-blowing. The courtroom drama is derivative and apes a Bollywood film that was remade in Telugu in recent times. Revealing the title of the film would be a major spoiler. The script would have looked original had the courtroom portions not been written. The settlement should have been out of court!
Vishwak Sen, as an underdog lawyer whose angst is over-the-top, doesn't quite deliver. Ravi Shankar, as a ruthless lawyer fond of humiliating his opponent lawyer, doesn't leave any impact.
Priya Vadlamani gets to shoulder many scenes and becomes the protagonist in a dicey turn of events. Ayesha Khan, Vikas Vasishta and Chaitanya Rao are fairly well-written characters with an element of suspense.
The storyline holds lot of potency. Probably, it should have been made as an edgy and gritty domestic thriller with sensibilities associated with neo-noir movies. Think of a film like the Hindi-language Amazon Prime release 'Gehraaiyan' (2022). 'Mukhachitram' is dragged down by its lack of ambition.
The short songs that are staged as montages don't help. Kaala Bhairava's music makes the narration look somewhat stale.
'Mukhachitram' has a nice storyline that holds so much potential. But the narration slackens despite a couple of whistle-worthy moments and ideas.