Diya – A worthwhile outing that engages emotionally!!!
First things first. Diya is not a horror film and it is surprising to see so many reviews referring to it as one. The mere presence of a spirit in a film does not make it a horror flick. There are a few tense scenes in the film but there is no attempt to scare you even for a minute. Much like Pisasu and Mercury (though both movies are poles apart), this is another film that has you empathize with a spirit that is out to seek revenge. Please keep in mind that the former two films had genuinely scary moments.
A.L. Vijay keeps jumping genres from film to film but he has always preferred to remain predictable within a film. Diya too strictly follows the director's signature style but there are good signs that he is eliminating a lot of flab and sticking to the plot. Of course there is this RJ Balaji track that comes across as silly but is thankfully well within tolerable limits.
Sai Pallavi is impressive and she really looks like an actress who wants to be a character rather than be vying for attention on screen. Thanks to her and Vijay, the emotional highpoints are nicely played and never overdone. I really liked the way the interval point and climax were handled. I could really see so many other makers trying to milk our tears at these points. The little girl Veronika hardly has a dialogue and is more of a presence in the film. She is that sort of an angelic face that we would side with her even without a backstory.
The issue I had with the film is that we really do not get a grip on what Nag Shourya (he plays Sai Pallavi's husband) is going through emotionally. Not a single scene is dedicated to ensure that we get a feel of things from his perspective. The actor wears a worried look on his face and that's pretty much it. As one of the primary reasons for the conflict in the story to develop, this character needed more depth and the poor lip sync only makes matters worse.
Nirav Shah and Sam CS are the stars of Diya. Save a couple of jarring tones to create a sense of tension and Sam's score is a huge asset to the film. And as always Nirav's frames carry that aesthetic appeal without being flashy.The film worked for me and it does touch upon an important topic. But it hardly goes to the depth of the issue nor does it identify the root cause. This isn't a complaint as such but if the intention was to drive home a message then I am not sure if it has convincingly addressed the same.
Despite being a tad predictable , Diya is a worthy outing as the emtotions work.