The bilingual anthology Solo, directed by Bejoy Nambiar shows different facets of Lord Siva through four elements — water, air, fire and earth.
Young Malayalam actor Dulquer Salmaan appears in four different avatars as Shekhar, Trilok, Siva and Rudra and they are totally safe in his hands as he convincingly portrays the tricky incarnations.
Though the characters are completely different, there are some common things in the four films —birth, love and death for sure (except in the fourth part).
World of Shekhar
In appearance, Shekhar is totally different — he has long hair and he stammers. A blind dancer Radhika (Dhansika) falls in love with him, but their families stand against their decision to live together. Finally, everything falls in place, until a tragedy befalls. How Shekhar tackles the unexpected situation form the gist of the first film.
Both Dulquer and Dhansika have performed well, clearly observing the gestures of stammerer and blind people. All other characters just remain as their shadows!
World of Trilok
The movie begins with Ayesha (Arthi Venkatesh) becoming an accident victim. Though she doesn't have much to do in it, there are many unnecessary shots closely exposing her body. Were the makers trying to show how cute she is in that attire?
As Trilok, Dulquer Salmaan looks like a nerd, but only later we get to know that he is a man with vengeance in his heart. Anson Paul, Renji Panicker, Ann Augustine too have performed well in the segment making it my favourite among the four parts.
World of Siva
Siva is on fire. He is a goon, who leaves for Mumbai to take revenge on the person who shot his father. Though he doesn't speak, Siva expresses the emotions through his eyes. And its Sruthi Hariharan's character Rukku, who cannot stop talking. She has a good screen presence, but fails to pull off an impressive dubbing and dialogues nag.
Rohan Manoj as Siva's younger brother, Manoj K Jayan and Govind P Menon have also done a neat job. But thumbs down for the camera work during the opening shot of the segment.
World of Rudra
The chemistry between Dulquer and Neha Sharma stands out the most in this segment and we get to see the cute side of the actress, though she was not very convincing as a Tamilian. Nassar and Suhasini Maniratnam have performed naturally. But why were Deepti Sati and Dino Morea even seen trying to speak in Malayalam? That looked very odd.
In the entire storyline of Solo, said on a serious tone, what becomes funny is the climax of World of Rudra. The converstations between DQ, Suhasini and Nasser created laugh riot in theatre and yes, it was an interesting bold move.
Even before the movie's release, the Solo album had impressed the music lovers. However, while watching the movie, only Roshomon, Sita Kalyanam from the World of Rudra and Aigiri Nandini from World of Siva felt like going well with the background. The songs in the Bejoy movie sound better if we hear them in repeat mode without the visuals!
Talking about the elements
In World of Shekhar that deals with the element water, we get to see Radhika opening up about her wish to spend time in a beach, she dances in water and her wedding with Shekhar too takes place in the middle of a water body (the location, Aquatic Floating Resort in Kochi itself is a visual treat adding more colour to the wedding scene).
Meanwhile, Rudra is an angry young man and we see hell lot of fire throughout the third segment.
But, I still don't get how the other two elements are well connected to the characters Trilok and Rudra. Except Ayesha's attire and hair moving in wind and Rudra running through landmine explosions during the training in an army camp, how do wind and earth connect well with the plot?
It might be a concept that extra ordinary brilliant people could easily understand, but how will common man get it? The ideas were not put forward convincingly.
What didn't work in Solo?
The four stories do not have a connecting line and would have been better if at least two of them were made into a lengthy movie so that each character gets enough space in the storyline. Lag in the narration was also felt at times.
The English subtitles were not in sync with the visuals at times, especially in the World of Trilok and Siva.
Now, a question to the makers. Don't we have talented actors in Tamil and Malayalam? Many of them were seen struggling to lip sync with the dialogues (talking about the Malayalam version of Solo) and sadly none of the heroines could dub for their own parts.
So far, almost all the anthology movies in Malayalam had each stories directed by different directors. But all the segments of Solo have been helmed by Bejoy Nambiar and he has done a decent job except the few shortcomings here and there.
Overall, Solo doesn't have much twists and turns to thrill you other than the part that makes you laugh in its climax. After watching it, you might leave the theatre with mixed emotions and a few unsolved questions might pop up. But of course, you can give it a try as it unravels different aspects everytime we think about the movie.
IBTimes India Rating: 2.5