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Confessions of a ‘Lucia’ Addict

Posted on the 25 October 2013 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

LuciaIn accordance with my prejudiced stupidity, I’d always assumed that the world of Kannada films has always remained hidden, dented and tainted (term courtesy Abhijit Mukherjee) for the film buffs mainly because of their utter crappy, howlarious, masala films and lack of English subtitles. I’d even wondered why there was not even one single good Kannada film came out remarkably well whereas Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali and even some commercial Telugu film names made good rounds on the best regional movies list, amongst the Indian audience. To relieve me from this stereotypical notion, Lucia came out of the blue, like the magic pill that the hero of the film consumes.

*Plot Spoiler Alert*

I started hearing about this crowd-funded Kannada Indie ‘Lucia’ in my Facebook and Twitter feeds when reviews broke out and filled my whole timeline during its release. An Insomniac movie theater usher consumes a colorful ‘LUCIA’ pill that helps him to lucid dream, live the dream and also rest well. His reality looks like a total sarcasm to his dream life which goes to an extent where he prefers living his dream but not his reality. His dreamscape crashes down, reality fades and engulfs in a scenario where he gets lost in the sane line between his dream and reality. What makes and takes LUCIA to the next big level is its stunning ‘third act’ that will leave you perplexed and get your minds blown away into nanos.

All it takes to succeed in a mystery and psychological thriller is the third act, one stunning Abracadabra third act, to win the audience heart. One can define this by Syd field’s Three-act structure in screenwriting but as a film buff, I would like to go the Nolan way of Three-act structure approach as inferred in The Prestige.

Three parts of a magic trick while performing a ‘disappearing bird trick’ for a little girl.

First, there’s “The Pledge,” where the magician shows you something ordinary, like a bird.

- The director introduces us an Insomniac lead, a roadside Romeo and his ground reality.

Then, there’s “The Turn,” where he does something extraordinary, like make the bird disappear.

- The dream sequence of him as a prodigy figure.

 But this isn’t enough.

 There always has to be a third act, “The Prestige,” where you have a twist, and bring the bird back, before the audience will clap.

- In Lucia, the Twist and The Prestige is when director/ writer Pawan kumar stuns us with the miraculous third act of the STORY where he push us, audience, along with his story and characters to get lost in limbo state where a whole new story unfolds.

Icing to this spectacular screenplay and cinematography is the crisp editing and beautiful melodies, songs that doesn’t bore the creep out of us. What I liked most about Lucia is its high attention towards the slightest detailing over the subject. Take any random frame and watch it closely, you can sense the level of perfection and visualization that Pawan kumar has conceptualized. It will seem that he’d kept the narrative scenes simple but yet it consumes and draws the audience fully in and force us to lucid dream till the end.

In mystery and thriller genre, there are directors who prefers giving minimal detailing or no detail and others who loves to give all sorts of clues and details and still leave us boggled. Pawan fits the second bill. I like the same with films of legends like Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Darren Aronofsky and Christopher Nolan. There is no random, fast, fading cuts over the details that he gives us out. Instead he is happy to furnish and throw everything open and still keep us interested, engaged and guessing ‘What next?’. This proves how Pawan is confident and tough enough about his script.

Shades, patterns, cuts and signatures of popular Hollywood and sci-fi films can be traced in Lucia, but its restricted only to the shots, cuts and tonal color of the film but not the concept and writing. So many netizens brand Lucia as ‘Inception of India’ ‘Indianized Inception’ ‘India’s reply to Inception’ ‘Blah Blah Blah of Inception’, NO it’s not. Inception is class apart, so as Lucia, in their own standards.

Recently I’ve watched two mesmerizing, black & white Indie, psychological thrillers The Untitled Karthik Krishnan project and Kshay. Both of the films have their own level of standards and wonderful art/ experiment tag branded to it. They were successful as well. A year back Eega was praised for the same reason, in commercializing the Sci-fi concept well and feeding it with perfect regional and Indian flavor thereby delighting the entire audience. Lucia took not just a step forward but a giant leap in all aspects such as production values, crowd funding, conceptualizing, acting, making, distributing etc..

Feeling good that Lucia is well received by the audience and making good rounds in various film festivals. Also the Tamil and Telugu remake rights of the film has been procured by the revolutionary, new wave Tamil film producer C.V. Kumar of Pizza and Soodhu Kavvum fame. To my limited knowledge, Lucia is one of best Sci-fi Indian Indie with all the aspects of so-called ‘Indian commercial cinema’. Lucia is a unique product/ pill, for the fellow movie buffs, which makes us not just lucid dream about watching a standard and successful Indie but to make one. Director Pawan Kumar has not just shaken the traditional film making model of Kannada/ Indie films but totally stirred it. Bravo.

This post was written by Kannan Venkat, guest author.

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