Antariksham - Movie Review

Friday, December 21, 2018 - 18:30
Antariksham (2018)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Antariksham 9000 KMPH
Cast: Varun Tej, Aditi Rao Hydari, Lavanya Tripathi, Satya Dev, Srinivas Avasarala, Rahman and others
Music: Prashanth R. Vihari
Cinematography: Gnana Sekhar V.S
Editor: Karthika Srinivas
Stunts: Todor Lazarov
CG: Rajeev Rajasekharan
Production Designers: Ramakrishna Sabbani, Monika Nigotre Sabbani
Producers: Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi (Krish), Rajeev Reddy Yeduguru and Sai Babu Jagarlamudi
Banner: First Frame Entertainments
Written and Direction: Sankalp Reddy
Release date: December 21, 2018
CBFC Rating: U


Dev (Varun Tej), a renowned space scientist, is leading life as a teacher in Rameshwaram after a failed space mission that made irrecoverable loss to his personal life. Five years later, he is called in by Indian Space Center when Mihira, an Indian satellite, is set to collide with other satellites and it may lead to collapse of global communication system. Only Dev can change it. Riya (Aditi) convinces him to come back to the center. He agrees to take up the mission as he has a secret mission to fulfil too.

Space thrillers are tough to pull off them. They require lot of scientific knowledge, and the subject is difficult to understand. If the filmmaker includes lot of scientific jargon, common filmgoers frown, if they narrate in plain manner, the well-learned audience (the main target audience) doesn't like it.

Space thrillers also demand lot of money to achieve spotless VFX. This is why Indian filmmakers have not attempted this genre before considering the constraints. 'Antariksham 9000 KMPH', the second film from talented director Sankalp Reddy of 'Ghazi' is the only second space thriller made in India after Tamil movie 'Tick Tick Tick'. Sankalp has made this film on limited budget.

Given the director's partial resources, it should be appreciable for his attempt to tell a space thriller. He also sticks to the point and follows the template of this genre. The movie focuses on two or three missions and a small romantic thread but it mainly focuses on the subject without any deviation.

Yet times, the director takes too much of cinematic liberty. The final portions of Dev (Varun Tej) going on a mission of correcting the "dead" Vipryaan satellite and taking a sling shot using Moon is hard to believe. If you have not watched Hollywood thrillers like 'Gravity', this may engross you but for a Hollywood film aficionado, many sequences seem ineffective.

What the director achieves is holding the interest with some tense moments especially in the final portions. Music director Prasanth Vihari's background score is a big help to him.

The film completely belongs to director Sankalp Reddy, his team of technicians - art director and cinematographer. Ramakrishna and Monica's production design is first rate. Their sets of satellite and space center are believable and natural. Cinematography is superb. The background score is good.

Coming to the performances, Varun Tej is convincing as the astronaut. Aditi is okay. Rahman/Raghu is decent. Satya Dev appears as twins (why?).

Bottom-line: 'Antariksham' is first ever space thriller in Telugu cinema. Director Sankalp Reddy has given his best to tell it in convincing manner. The film needs appreciation for its attempt. Flaws and drawback can be overlooked as it is a first attempt in this genre in Tollywood.

Reviewed by: 
J Gudelli