LIE Review - A steady cat and mouse game that could have finished better
Telugu Cinema for long has been subject to mass hero worship with single handed punches, kicks and mass dialogues from the hero becoming customary to showcase his power. After Arvind Swamy’s performance in Dhruva as a strong villain who thinks ahead of the hero in many instances, here is another film that relies highly on the villain’s performance. Nithiin, Arjun, Megha Akash, Ravi Kishan and Nasser take sides in this action packed cat and mouse game, that shuttles between India and the US.
LIE is righty tagged as Love Intelligence and Enmity. While the usual stereotyping of a flattened love portion is present, kudos to the director for taking effort to bring some justification of romance into the story. Intelligence certainly is the key to the film; after establishing the characters of Arjun, Nithiin and Megha Akash the plot starts to thrive on mind games, not too intellectually but to an acceptable level. Enmity, yes! Arjun becomes the man you would love to hate. The battle of wits between Arjun and Nithiin forms the crux of LIE. LIE starts by portraying the character of Arjun, a to be retired magician cum law breaker and most wanted too. His obsession over a suitcase becomes the center of LIE’s plot.
Not far away is our hero Nithiin; he is shown as a liar clouding a rugged image. But that’s not all, for his character is far from its dearth of surprises. The first half is set in the backdrop of LA where Arjun’s hideout is with the National Investigation Agency trying to catch Arjun before he vanishes away for good. Ravi Kishan the commissioner deputes two agents on a mission. Megha Akash’s marriage is called off and in a queen movie like scenario she uses travel money for her honeymoon, shares the journey with another guy (Nithiin) who is heading to Las Vegas. Without going too much into the spoilers, the plot is set as Nithiin faces Arjun - why, how and what happens next forms the story of LIE.
Hanu’s directorial abilities deserve a pat on the back. Experimental cinema is definitely something everyone appreciates and his efforts to put up love, action amidst some intelligent mind games is welcomed. Somehow in keeping the film racy and stylish, Hanu loses grip in the second half wherr the film looses consistency. Limiting humor to the first half and completely omitting in the second half bleaks the screenplay as the film drags towards a dullclimax which ideally should have been a nail biting ending. While Megha looks promising, the script does not give her scope.
Technically LIE is rich in visuals with crisp aerial shots and poignant colors giving the film a overall neat outlool. A few trims in the second could have made the film even racier. Mani Sharma’s BGM is apt and helps to build the tension it requires.
Bottom Line :
LIE rides high on Arjun and Nithiin’s performances; the plot and screenplay does the rest. LIE loses steam in the second half as it finishes with a dull climax which brings down the effort put in the first.
Watch it for heavy weight performances from Arjun and Nithiin.