'Skylab' is the latest box-office release in the town. Is it worth a watch? Let's find out in this review.
It is Bandalingampally village in Telangana and the year is 1979. Skylab, a NASA space station, was feared to fall somewhere in Karimnagar or Nizamabad and cause deaths.
Gauri (Nithya Menen) is a journalist in the village. Despite being the daughter of a rich man, she wants to work hard and make a mark as a journalist. Anand (Satyadev Kancharana) is a budding doctor who has to cross a major hurdle before he can carry on with his profession. He uses the village as a clutch. Ramarao (Rahul Ramakrishna) is Anand's new-found friend and badly needs money to clear off his debts. These three lives and many others in the village find redemption by the time the dreaded day of Skylab hitting the earth arrives.
Satyadev Kancharana is coming into his own. Although he tried a bit of comedy in 'Uma Maheshwara Ugra Roopasya', it was not up to the mark. Here, he is a bit more confident. Nithya Menen, who has been doing meaningful Telugu films such as 'AWE' and 'Ninnila Ninnila', is spot-on.
Rahul Ramakrishna gets a full-fledged role. After a web film like 'NET' recently, he plays to his strengths. Vishnu Oi is perfect as the servant at Gowri's house. Tanikella Bharani and Thulasi fit the bill.
Prashanth R Vihari of 'Chi La Sow' and 'Mental Madhilo' fame tries a new sound here, a sound that is atypical if you consider the fact that this is not a contemporary movie. Aditya Javvadi's cinematography is a huge asset.
Editing by Ravi Teja Girijala is functional. Shivam Rao (production designer) and Chandrika Gorrepati (art director) complement each other's vision.
Since 'Skylab' is based on true incidents and some real-life characters, writer-director Vishvak Khanderao has tried to make the story entertaining by imagining exaggerated character traits. Nithya Menen's Gowri, for example, thinks that she is writing gems when the fact is that she is penning absurd stories that are worthy of being relegated to the dustbin. Satyadev's Anand has his own set of issues and he is ready to exploit naive people. Rahul's Ramarao comes from a family of Subedars, who have been mired in debts.
Of the three main characters, only Anand and Ramarao are seen together. They have no scenes with Gowri. The drama unfolds in the village as the D-Day (the day of Skylab hitting the Earth) approaches. The writing is sincere in the Third Act. Until then, the film struggles to rise above its obsessions.
The comedy is weak throughout, barring a few flashes of fun. The characterizations are interesting, the premise is definitely weighty. However, the story fails to hit the ball out of the park.
'Skylab' is a not-so-satisfying film with an above-average climax.