‘Natyam’ Movie Review: The dance is good, but the movie needs a better script

The film about classical dance, produced and starring dancer Kuchipudi:

It tries to draw parallels between modern history and the fictional history of previously independent India. Such a premise is unusual in modern Telugu cinema.

Debut director Revant Coruconda and dancer Sandhya Raju deserve credit for entering an area. That not many people dare to venture into. Sandia leads the way in this film, accompanied by several dancers, which starts well but loses momentum in the middle.

The story takes place in a fictional dance village called Natyam. Which serves as a tip of the hat for the village of Kuchipudi in Andhra Pradesh. And dance-oriented schools like Kalakshetra. Which are mini-universes of their own. Sitara (Sandhya Raju) grew up dancing.

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And is really desperate to prove to her teacher (Aditia Menon) that she is worthy of her rank. He believes that he was chosen to tell the story of Kadambari. Which was told by his teacher. When he is a child. However, he realized that his superstitious appearance could provoke and thus cause trouble.

At first glance, the story seems straightforward. Politics, drama and points of conflict emerge little by little. The history of the dance village and its events is sometimes overexplained. Still, this aspect can be overlooked for the time.

Being thanks to the aesthetically pleasing temple village (taken at Lepakshi and Hampi, among others). And the skilful choreography at the opening of the Sewing Name Dance Number. The synchronization of Sitara and Hari Babu (Kamal Kamaraju as the guru’s son). With Shravan Bharadvaj’s music sets the stage for the dance story.

The outsider-purism conflict arises with the entry of Rohit (Rohit Behal):

Who grew up in an urban western dancer who comes to the village in search of a concept. Which he can use for an international dance competition. A lot of time has been spent emphasizing Sitara’s disdain for Rohit. Which is combined with her naivety for not paying attention. To the true nature of Harry Babu. Several hooligans with political muscle are thrown into this scenario. And stand out like sore thumbs in an aesthetic setting.

The plot leaves plenty of room to explore the politics of this dance village as an unlikely romance unfolds. But what is written is never enough to learn everything well enough.

A dreamy Radha-Krishna dance sequence with appropriate visual effects changes Sitara’s life. Once and for all, and the drama shifts to Hyderabad. Then the film loses steam. The opening of Sitara’s world outside of her village takes place as expected. But the budding romance between her and Rohit is barely explored. This emptiness in the foreground is made more apparent. When Sitara is cornered at the final ballet. If the romance were better written. And the performances in this section better. The high climax would have the necessary effect.

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Sandhya’s expertise in Kuchipudi is a clear asset to this film;

He also didn’t let his facial expression go overboard. Kamal agrees with Sandia’s dancing skills as a professional in the opening song, which is not a bad job. Mumbai-based dancer Rohit feels like he is part of this film. Even though he scored with his light presence, he still had a long way to go as an actor. Aditya Menon and Subhaleha Sudhakar barely do enough in their roles.

Bhanupriya is given time to blink and pass the screen. Since she is known for her dancing skills. What better way to introduce her? The dancer Rukmini Vijayakumar makes a cameo appearance. Natyam was an exciting and daring experience. But he needed a better script to make it compelling.