Gautaman Bhaskaran’s Review: Elektra | regional movies | Hindustan Times
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Gautaman Bhaskaran’s Review: Elektra

regional-movies Updated: Jan 06, 2011 18:33 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Hindustan Times
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Cast: Nayantara, Manisha Koirala, Prakashraj, Biju Menon, Suraj Skanda and KPAC Lalitha
Director: Shyamaprasad
Rating: ***1/2

In many ways, Shyamaprasad’s Malayalam work with a Bollywood actress, Elektra, is almost poetic in its texture and form. Inspired by the Greek tragic-myth, the film has a surreal feel, mostly shot inside a dimly-lit, sprawling “Tharavad” house (family home) in Central Kerala, where light and shade create a kind of spookiness that blends well with the plot of death and revenge.

Elektra, played by Nayantara with remarkable conviction and subtlety, is so possessive of her Jaffna based father, Abraham (Prakashraj), that when he returns home she is all set to poison his mind about his wife, Diana (Manisha Koirala), having an affair with Isaac (also Prakashraj). However, before the night breaks into dawn, Abraham is dead, and Elektra in all her jealous rage seeks to wreck vengeance on her mother. When Elektra’s brother, Edwin (Suraj Skanda) – who is plagued by an Oedipus complex -- arrives for the funeral, Elektra tells
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
him about their mother. In the midst of all this scandal, deceit and evil, police officer Peter (Biju Menon), who is in love with Elektra, seems like an oasis of sanity that she would return to several times in an attempt to shake herself out of this destructive web of murder and viciousness.

The script, penned by Shyamaprasad and Kiron Prabhakar, while letting a few lose ends slip through (like, for instance, Peter’s uncop-like behaviour), aptly captures the mysteriousness of Abraham’s family, pushing us deep into the world of damning human follies that are often provoked by love and passion. Lost in highly disturbing emotions, Elektra and Edwin in particular end up destroying each other. Forbidden desires trap them, sucking the very lives out of them.

Rivetingly caught on Sanu Varghese’s lens, the film’s shadowy tone metaphorically highlights illusions to a point where they merge with the real. A time comes when Elektra fails to see truth, and in this terrifying scenario Diana is brutally victimised. The end of all this can only be catastrophically dreadful.