Director: Karthick Naren
Navarasa, created by Mani Ratnam and Jayendra Panchapakesan, was a very new take on anthology series in Tamil cinema. 9 stories, 9 directors, 9 emotions and a bunch of talented actors.Out of the lot, some episodes were a hit while some were misses. The third episode called ‘Project Agni’ was based on the Adbhuta Rasa or the Emotion of Wonder. Directed by Karthick Naren, this episode pretty much did its job of surprising us.
The episode is entirely set in the sci-fi world. Now, the sci-fi genre has not really been successful for Kollywood. Only 1 or 2 movies here and there have been successful with fully exploring the genre. It is evident from this episode that Kartick Naren is an ardent fan of Christopher Nolan. While Nolan is a Genius when it comes to sci-fi, Karthick has tried his level best to bring some of the essence to Tamil cinema.
The story revolves around Vishnu (Aravind Swamy) and Prasanna (Krishna). A newbie Sai Siddarth plays the important role of Kalki, Vishnu’s assistant. Actress Poorna plays Lakshmi, Vishnu’s wife. Now, Vishnu is a scientific genius who makes a wonderful discovery combining the past, present and future. He calls his dear friend Krishna who works in ISRO to convey the same to him so that the scientific world can benefit from such a discovery in a safe way.
Kalki, Vishnu’s Assistant experimenting his newfound discovery
Every minute of the story has a new revelation and you keep thinking about what Vishnu is going to reveal next. An important thing that has to be noted about the episode is the choice of names for the characters being Vishnu, Kalki, Krishna and Lakshmi. The naming makes a lot of sense after we watch the entire episode. Naren has also done justice to the typical sci-fi set-up in a Scientist’s house. Digital Screen – Check, Green Ray of Light – Check, Weird Head Hat – Check!
Poorna’s role in the episode, though short, did not seem significant at all. Similarly, it will take you sometime to believe that Aravind Swamy is a Scientific Genius who discovered so much. Apart from these points, the acting on the whole was pretty good. Costume design for the respective characters was also commendable. Prasanna’s role in the movie is surely compliment worthy as he lead the show with his acting and style.
Vishnu and Krishna in a deep conversation about Vishnu’s newest discovery
At the end of the episode you really start wondering who you are and what is your purpose. That creates enough wonder to blow your mind. Ofcourse, the sci-fi part of the episode cannot be compared to Hollywood sci-fi. But, on the whole, Naren has done solid justice to the idea he has tried to represent and has really made us open our mouths wide in surprise!