Aditya Taksh discusses the highs and lows of the new psychological thriller Telugu movie ‘Perfume’ in his review.
Perfume is the latest Telugu film that hit the screens this weekend. The film is not a regular mix of routine films that hit screens every weekend. The story touches upon a rather unique storyline of smelling disorder perhaps no one had tried so far in Telugu. Here is the review.
It’s a story of a photographer named Vyas (played by Che Nag), who wants to pursue artistic avocations while also wanting to touch the depths of his own self through art. But the most worrying aspect of him is the smelling disorder. A specially-made aromatic perfume comes his way one day making his senses more active. This new psychological disorder starts giving him sexual pleasure every time he smells the odor of a woman. Eventually, he commits a crime without his involvement. Meanwhile, a classical dancer named Leela (Prachi Thaker), gets closer to him. Before he turns into a psycho killer, will Vyas get treated for the disorder? What’s the fate of Leela when she is abducted by this beast? — is the story in short.
Films with such storylines where a protagonist undergoes pain from a smelling obsession is rare to find. A psycho killer on the prowl — is something that is usually a tried-and-tested theme in Tollywood. The story takes its sweet time to establish the characters. It set the right mood for viewers to understand the vulnerability of the protagonist. The story goes at a good pace during the first half while building the interest to invest into the story until it reaches a stagnation. Protagonist Vyas tries to decode his disorder while at the same time he tries to confront the incessant struggle that undergoes inside with the smelling disorder.
You might feel that the second half fell apart. At a point where the protagonist narrates his past and how the childhood trauma haunts Vyas. As a school boy, he experiences his first love and subsequent events at the school make a frightening impact on the young brain. The discrimination at the school — caste and honour killing keep the boy haunted. While establishing the boy’s traumatic childhood, the director JD Swamy tried to balance however, the dots in the end do not connect as assumed .
The loosely knitted backstory fails to evoke any curiosity in the second half. Hero’s psychological disorder and the way he feels orgasm by smelling women’s odour etc could have been better on the screen. A few errotic sequences, the romantic track between Vyas and Leela drew whistles among the crowd.
Che Nag as the protagonist Vyas is a miscast. But his performance is convincing. Prachi Thaker’s performance as criminal psychology student Leela is decent. This film would give her good recognition after the thriller ‘Rajugari Kodipulao’. Actress Abhinaya has delivered a good performance as a senior cop, but doesn’t get enough meat. Others Harishchandra, Krishna Tej and Bhushan have put up a good effort in the end.
Music and technicalities
Ajay Arasada, who composed the background score and tunes to the film, has done a terrific job. The bgm and the songs ‘Evi Evi Ekkatledu’, Ilanti Prema Eshwarude and ‘Kaalipothunna’ explaining the mental and emotional pain of the protagonist were good. The camera work at large is decent. However, the lighting and colour aspects took a severe beating.
The elements of psychological, mental disorder, love of man, his vulnerability, how they are prone to become psycho killers and woman safety — were neatly portrayed. Miscast of Che Nag as the hero is a major setback to the story. With the right mix of elements and decent screenplay, director JD Swamy did a balancing act in narrating a psychological drama, Perfume.