Lucia (Kannada)
Release date: September 6, 2013
Directed by: Pawan Kumar
Cast: Sathish, Shruthi Hariharan, Hardhika Shetty, Achyuth Kumar, Sanjay, Aryan, Prashanth

Many Kannada films don’t make their way to Mumbai, Lucia is among the few chosen ones that get to break that barrier. Produced by a crowdfunding initiative, be prepared to thrown off when the names of the producers cloud your screen with a galaxy of names in the starting credits.

Lucia is the story of a theater usher, Nikhil’s insomnia and the effects of the measures he takes to get over the said sickness. The film follows a beauteous non-linear structure, which holds you through the many slow sequences and extensively long song and dance numbers. The dance numbers appear out of place at first, even an attempt to commercialize the whole concept; but as the songs go on, there is a back-and-forth feel to them.

As Nikhil becomes obsessed with his lack of sleep, he’s dragged into a whole another thing. Soon, he’s sleeping with lucid dreams. Dreams that continue to run like a TV programme. He starts living an alter-life in his dreams and his real-life issues juxtapose with his sleeping thoughts. The lines between the two keep blurring and it gets harder to differentiate if the former is a reflection of the latter, or vice versa.

The screenplay not only focuses on the consistent shift from dream to reality, but also on the emotional and developmental conflicts of the protagonist in both the worlds. Nikhil earns very less, at his uncle Sankaranna’s (Achyuth Kumar) run down ‘talkies’ and his counter-persona Nikki, the movie star has everything that the world has got to offer. Nikhil’s desires to lead an inconsequential yet fulfilling life shadow Nikki’s adulation and need to regain his privacy.

The cleverly-written songs and amusingly witty lines keep every situation interesting enough to keep you engrossed. Out of all the scattered tracks, the police investigation one seems to be the weakest. Armed with majorly first time actors, heck, most of their names are taken off from their actual identities–there is some ham and cheese here at times. My favorite here was Achyuth Kumar, with his body transformation and character shift going hand in hand with his good performance.

Lucia has a gif too! Lucia has a gif too! (Click on it if in case it doesn't animate on this page)
Is Lucia watchable? Yes, even re-watchable! Should you slack in booking your tickets for it? No. PVR Directors Rare has nailed it once again with this selection.

My rating: ***1/2 (3 out of 5)

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