Mukhachitram is a 2022 Indian Telugu-language courtroom drama directed by Gangadhar. The movie features Vikas Vasista, Priya Vadlamani, Ayesha Khan, and Chaitanya Rao, along with Vishwak Sen. The topic of consent, which was also addressed in Pawan Kalyan's Vakeel Saab (the Telugu version of Amitabh Bachchan's Pink), is of concern here. With mediocre writing and execution Mukhachitram's could have been better, but it merits praise for its sincere efforts to draw attention to a problem with women's safety.
A woman sexually assaulted by an unidentified man is in a better position than a wife abused by the husband. The woman if they muster their strength, they can least report the incident to the police, where their problem will be given attention. However, a wife who has been physically abused by her husband repeatedly is expected to keep quiet and do what she must.
Towards the end of the movie, Vishwak Sen's character uses a similar, desperate speech to highlight the tragedy of a victim of marital violence. Sandeep Raj wrote the courtroom drama scene for the Gangadhar-directed Telugu film Mukhachitram, in which both the client and the attorney are shamed.
Cast Of The Movie
Raj Kumar & his friend are both plastic surgeons. Maya has been a good friend of Rajkumar since childhood. They were, however, unable to show their love for one another and were forced to split up when they were young. Raj becomes a plastic surgeon, while Maya aspires to be a screenwriter and works to find her place in the industry. The two regularly travel together since Satya is a common friend and accompanies them everywhere.
Raj Kumar meets Mahiti (Priya Vadlamani), a girl from a typical Brahmin household and marries her without asking for any dowry. Before being married, Maya confesses her feelings for Rajkumar and is heartbroken. However, as was destined, Maya faces an accident and suffers severe injuries, leaving her face deformed. Mahathi dies while Raj Kumar disguises Maya's face and performs plastic surgery. She lives with Rajkumar, who had cosmetic surgery to alter her facial look. Maya, however, brought a lawsuit against Rajkumar due to certain incidents.
Review of The Movie
When cleverly wrapped in an amusing veneer, message-driven movies may provide a realistic portrait of society and leave you upbeat. Its effectiveness depends on maintaining the message in the subtext and not hammering home the point. For a long period, despite a few stumbles, newcomer Gangadhar's Mukhachitram avoids the "message syndrome" and interests you. Nevertheless, the movie needs to improve its way throughout its attempt to spoon-feed its audience.
Mukhachitram has a solid platform to tackle something as delicate as marital rape. The setting of this universe, which revolves around childhood sweethearts and plastic surgery, is deliciously deceptive, concealing important character qualities and skilfully revealing the multiple levels of the narrative. The plot may move slowly, but it does it in a way that keeps you interested.
After the twin catastrophes in Raj's life, Mukhachitram gains speed, and a crucial revelation alters your perspective on the characters. Watch out for the scene where a woman chooses to speak out for her husband. Gangadhar channels this metamorphosis to deliver several pleasant mass moments, hitting the proper mix between amusement and its message.
The story is at its strongest when it follows a thriller-style path and "unmasks" the individuals' actual identities without any pre-tense. When you're expecting the drama to conclude, Mukhachitram decides to turn into a bloated, message-heavy movie with exaggerated and occasionally offensive one-liners. The finale plays out more like a courtroom drama. A respectable attempt is almost destroyed by the poor casting of the performers and the storyteller's inability to manage heavy-handed drama.
Despite all, the good it achieves, Sandeep Raaj's treatment of the female characters in Mukhachitram makes it harder to escape the masculine gaze in the literature. Throughout the movie, we see only two sorts of women: the independent, metropolitan lady and the subservient girl next door. In 2023, drinking and smoking are still often shown as icons to represent contemporary women.
Mukhachitram has a very new cast. The film's major protagonists are Ayesha Khan, Priya Vadlamani, and Vikas Vasista. The screen time allotted to Chaitanya Rao's supporting role is sufficient. Having a great voice like Vikas Vasista's is a bonus. There is a rawness about his performance. He performs admirably in certain situations but fails in others, like the depressing moment following the interval. He will address the many areas that need improvement in the future.
Priya Vadlamani is given a role with a lot of depth, and once more, she offers a mixed bag. She suffered on several significant occasions; some people might not like how she appears. In the second half, she had a couple of successful moments. In the job presented to her, Ayesha Khan does alright and has decent looks. Chaitanya Rao does a respectable job playing a supporting role.
Ravishankar and Vishwak Sen make guest appearances. Ravishankar behaves in this circumstance as a seasoned attorney would. Regrettably, Vishwak's genius is wasted on a character that could be better constructed. The latter stretch of his performance was excellent, but he often came off as indifferent and unenthusiastic.
The technical elements are where Kala Bhairava excels. The music complemented the story's progression quite nicely. The background music excelled in certain parts, especially in the second half. As was previously said, Sandeep Raj's writing could be better. The camera work for the film by Sreenivas Bejugam is acceptable and in keeping with the budget set out for it.
Despite its short running time, the movie occasionally calls for endurance. After then, the newbie director Gangadhar seems powerless to make any contributions. Regarding the film's director, Gangadhar, he performed a passable job. Although Sandeep Raj's tale is captivating, the execution was rather mediocre. As the first hour is similarly sluggish, more caution was needed. The film's plot could have been introduced a little sooner. The group secured great performers who gave their all.
The main actors, Vikas Vasishta, Priya Vadlamani, Ayesha Khan, and Chaitanya Rao, provide impressive performances in the mostly engrossing drama Mukhachitram, featuring clever surprises. Ravishankar and Vishwak Sen's cameos only do a little to improve the movie's situation. Sandeep Raaj's screenplay has moments of genius, but Gangadhar, the filmmaker, should have handled the courtroom scenes better.
Overall, Mukhachitram has a topic that is pertinent but only partially effective. The second hour is decent, including acceptable performances and respectable twists. But one must endure a miserable first half to enjoy all of this. Give this movie a try if due to the message it delivers.