Friday, Jun 09, 2023

‘Ammu’ On Amazon Prime Video Movie Review: Naveen Chandra-Aishwarya Lekshmi’s Unique Take On Domestic Abuse

‘Ammu’ On Amazon Prime Video Movie Review: Naveen Chandra-Aishwarya Lekshmi’s Unique Take On Domestic Abuse

Outlook rating
4 / 5

Amazon Prime Video’s first Telugu original movie ‘Ammu’ has released. Is the film worth your time? Or can you simply skip it? Read the full movie review to find out.

A Still From 'Ammu'
A Still From 'Ammu' Instagram

‘Ammu’: Cast & Crew

Director: Charukesh Sekar

Cast: Aishwarya Lekshmi, Naveen Chandra, Bobby Simha

Available On: Amazon Prime Video

Duration: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

‘Ammu’: Story

‘Ammu’ is a story of resilience and courage. What started off as a fairy tale marriage, changed when Ammu’s (Aishwarya Lekshmi) cop-husband Ravi (Naveen Chandra) hit her. What Ammu thought was a one-off incident soon turned into a never-ending cycle of abuse, trapping her and breaking her soul and spirit. Pushed to her limits, Ammu teams up with an unlikely ally (Bobby Simha) to break free. Will she be finally able to do that? Or will she get stuck up in societal boundation and stick on to an abusive marriage? Well, you’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

‘Ammu’: Performances

Naveen Chandra is the star performer. What a brilliant portrayal! He has brought forth the perfect combination of an abusive husband and a fierce police inspector. The way he changes his expressions within moments is superb. One moment he is the epitome of a romantic lover boy and the very next he is this angry belligerent husband.

Aishwarya Lekshmi as the scared and frightened wife who’s stuck in an abusive marriage is apt. She has come up with a very measured performance. She keeps twitching very easily between emotions of utter shock to that of manic depression – and the ease with which she does the switch is what makes her character memorable.

Bobby Simha didn’t have enough screen time to perform and showcase his full range of versatility. However, in the minimal screen time he has, he has managed to give a decent performance.

None of the other supporting cast has a worthwhile role.

‘Ammu’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Apoorva Shaligram’s cinematography is the best thing about the movie. The way she has shot the entirety in a small town and brought forth the essence of the real-life locations is superb. In many scenes, she has managed to use long lensed shots taken with a bokeh effect in the front, and that’s come out brilliantly. There are numerous hand-held shots taken in outdoors which have turned out pretty well and make the viewer feel the jerkiness of the situation.

Charukesh Sekar’s writing is praiseworthy. It’s a very woke topic that he has picked up, and he has given it a twist by making the protector of the law (the police inspector), the abuser in the marriage. Whom does a woman go to for help when the person in authority is only the one doing the abuse? Well, that’s a poignant point that Sekar has tried to showcase through this story. However, the character of Bobby Simha introduced was slightly unnecessary. The story should have shown the wife who has been abused taking her sweet revenge with her brain power and not because she got help from another man. That sort of took a bit of the charm away from the plot.

Sekar’s direction is also fast-paced and keeps you hooked on the story throughout. Also, in many marital abuse stories, directors tend to show the beating so as to create an effect of empathy in the audience. However, Sekar has managed to create that empathy with help of the actor’s voice modulations and the make-up, but he hasn’t shown the beating up of the wife in full view – which is a brilliant decision. You don’t have to show the heinous crime to make people understand the severity of the crime. The performance of your actors in the scenes post that violent scene should be at a level where the audience gets to understand the depth of the crime. Kudos to Sekar for managing to pull that off.

Radha Sridhar’s editing is crisp and not for a moment you’re left feeling bored. The film may have gone over 2 hours but it’s still very taut and manages to keep you hooked till the end.

‘Ammu’: Can Kids Watch It?


Outlook’s Verdict

‘Ammu’ is a brave attempt at showing domestic abuse in a different light. When the police, who’s supposed to protect you, is the one who is the abuser, what does one do? That’s a poignant thought that drives the story. The brilliant acting by Aishwarya Lekshmi and Naveen Chandra is what makes you want to watch the story again and again. To add to that the brilliance with which the locales have been incorporated into the plot of the story makes you want to keep watching it. It’s definitely a Must Watch. I am going with 4 stars.