The promise of the premise of Sudhir Ambalapadu's maiden directorial venture, gave the hope that a decent offering is on the cards. Breaking News Live is loosely based on a ghastly real life incident that shook our conscience not that long ago. As the title of the movie suggests, it is a tale that is narrated in the backdrop of visual media with contemporary issues added to the mix.
But despite the lofty and honest intentions Breaking News live, unfortunately doesn't break any new ground. The zest that characterizes some of the scenes mainly brought about by the arresting screen presence of Kavya Madhavan is submerged by the shabby structure of the script. The movie is passable till the interval, but hobbles afterwards to end up as an inert effort.
The movie begins with a fleeting appearance of legendary actor Thilakan in what must be one of his shortest roles. His character has no connection whatsoever with the main plot, but is intended as a symbolism of what is to follow. Nayana (Kavya Madhavan), a management student is just another commuter who depends on the railways for her regular journeys. A particular incident involving the character played by Mythili during one of her journeys turns her life upside down. She becomes the focus point of the attention of the entire media and the people. There are some interesting scenes which satirizes the propensity of our channels to be hyperactive in their effort to ratchet up their ratings.
The so called experts who make a beeline to the studios at the drop of a hat to offer comments on every issue under the Sun is ridiculed upon. Mammukoya's character is a case in point. An ignoramus and vainglorious political leader who mumbles every time when confronted with questions of serious nature by news anchors. Humour that is sought to be worked out looks delectable for a while but afterwards it derails due to overcooking and generalization. We do have some good news anchors and real experts in our midst after all. Not all of them are harebrained as to be so dismissive. Apathy of general public towards social issues is also sought to be brought to light. The character of Anoop Chandran, an auto rickshaw driver who never misses an opportunity to be in front of the camera, is a representative of the insensitive middle class who cares two hoots about every issue, until the moment it affects them directly .It was not long ago that we saw the obnoxious and bestial spectacle of people capturing the images of an accident victim in their mobile cameras without bothering to save a precious life.
The issue of safety or rather the lack of it, that the fairer sex is confronted with in our public spaces, is one of the most hotly debated topics of our times. Especially in the backdrop of the Delhi incident and many such episodes in Kerala, the intention of the makers to focus upon it was commendable. But alas! The script is ridden with too many potholes and lack of clarity which becomes its identity at the very outset, takes the sheen out of the proceedings. A lot of 'could have been's and 'would have been's, results in confusion as logic goes out of the window. Continuity is sorely missing in the narrative, and if this was done intentionally to manufacture novelty, it has to be said that it has gone hopelessly awry.
Kavya Madhavan does a fairly good job in her portrayal of the protagonist with mature emoting and controlled acting. Mythili too does give a good account of herself as the unfortunate victim. Sukumari, Vineeth, Devan etc who play important roles in the movie expectedly don't let themselves down. The psychopath villain evokes revulsion although his antics are exaggerated. Some prominent media personalities also appear, but acting doesn't seem to be their cup of tea! A dream song sequence involving the two leading ladies composed by Mohan Sithara is sorely out of place, which could very well have been avoided. Backgroud score by Gopi Sundar is good as it keeps the viewer alive as the pace slackens every now and then.
Trial by media and mad rush for breaking news and the practice of presenting even routine incidents as flash news etc. are banes of news channels. In the rat race for domination of media space these things are here to stay, as we all know. There is no panacea for the issues that are dealt with in the movie, but if it served as an eye opener at least it would have been worthwhile. But lack of requisite panache in the making puts paid to this as well.
It would be unjust to be entirely dismissive about the movie, but it got to be said that inexperience of a debutante director and a haphazard script let down an honest effort. The topicality of the movie is unmistakable but 'Breaking News Live', is likely to vanish from the minds of viewers just like those routine channel flash news which never gets to register in our minds.
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