Ananth Nag's Naa Ninna Bidalaare was probably the first Sandalwood film, which had a lasting impression on Kannadigas in supernatural-horror genre. Since then, many films have been made in this genre and have disappeared without any trace from people's memory. Now, Upendra's Kalpana, which is a remake of Telugu movie Kanchana (Muni in Tamil), is the latest film in this genre. Let us see what it has to offer...
Raghava is an easygoing man and he enjoys playing cricket with his friends. He is fearless in the daytime but exactly opposite during the dark, as he is scared of ghosts. His life will be running smoothly till his team comes to a new ground to play cricket and accidentally gets caught in a devil's trap. Soon, he starts a new liking towards wearing sarees and bangles. The strange development worries his family member - his mother (Umashri, Shruti (sister-in-law) and brother. The story of transgender Kalpana (Sai Kumar) will be revealed in the second half.
The first half of Kalpana is full of comedy and chilling moments. The scenes involving Umashri and Shruti are entertaining but at parts, it cross the limit, as they appear overacting. In the second half, the story gets engaging with a flashback of Sai Kumar, making the movie a serious affair. The flow of the story keeps the audience to watch the movie on the edge of their seats.
Upendra's facial expressions when the evil spirit enters his body and the clean-shaven face in the climax remind us of Anantha Nag in Naa Ninna Bidalaare. Audience will also remember Uppi's role of Bharatanatyam dancer with feminine qualities in Godfather, as he walks-talks like a woman in the later part of the movie. However, it is Sai Kumar, who steals the show in the movie. His dialogue delivery and body language of a transgender are treat to watch. Umashri and Shruti keep you entertained with their comic acts. Lakshmi Rai has not got much to do.
Technically, the background score by V Harikrishna is excellent and two songs are good. KS Selvaraj's cinematography has to be praised. Director Rama Narayan succeeds in making the audience to sit till the end. The drawback of the movie are: There are quite a few loopholes in the screenplay, which drags the story in the first half, and the movie is much like a revenge story in the second half than a horror film.
Verdict: Kalpana is engaging and entertaining.