The dark side of a Genius!
AhaVideo is one of my recent favorites as it is an exclusive Telugu OTT platform and who doesn’t love to have something like that? As I finished watching ‘Mastis’, the poster of “Locked” looked interesting and I like the performance of Actor Satyadev. The first time I saw him in a lead role in ‘Jyothi Lakshmi’ movie, I was quite impressed with his acting and especially his voice. That voice has a depth and a great ability to convey an emotion. One scene from Jyoti Lakshmi is still one of my favourites “నువ్వు నా దానివి. నీతోనే ఉంటా, నీతోనే చస్తా!”. His voice and expression in that police station scene is awesome and that’s when I started following the work of Satyadev. Big or small, whatever the role is, he does a complete justice and that shows his passion for acting. Be it ‘Mana Oori Ramayanam, Kshanam, The Ghazi attack, iSmart Shankar, Brochevarevarura or his recent web series G.O.D’, you can’t deny the fact that he delivered a kickass performance. Having said that, Satyadev is one of the main reasons for me, to start watching ‘Locked’ and, the show is decent.
Locked is the story of an old lady (Sri Lakshmi), a young girl (Samyukta Hornad) both in great need of money, a young would-be Neurosurgeon, an anaesthesiologist (Keshav Deepak) and his wife (Bindu Chandramouli), a police officer (Vasu Inturi) …… Each of the characters has their problems and all of them end up reaching Dr. Anand’s (Satyadev) home intentionally/unintentionally and ironically all of them get locked in his house. Who does it and why? Will they survive? Will someone save them from that dire situation? – Watch the series!
About the plot, screenplay and direction, I personally felt there are many loose ends. It is a home invasion thriller but, mainly focussed on showing the protagonist’s creepy character and fails to establish the protagonist’s character visually. Locked has all the elements to make it a ‘taunting thriller’ but didn’t succeed to the potential it has, because of inconsistent screenplay and lack of attention to detail. There are a couple of wow moments though and, are shot very well. I don’t want to write more about the story or screenplay as it may end up being a spoiler 🙂
If there is a great saving grace of this series despite the flaws, it is none other than the lead character Dr. Anand – Satyadev. He has literally carried the complete show on his shoulders. He has gone above and beyond to portray that creepy and crooked character. There are scenes where he doesn’t even utter a word but, his expressions convey a zillion emotions. What is awesome about his performance is that, ‘you like him, you hate him, you curse him, you empathize him (maybe)’ but probably, ‘you don’t understand the real HIM’. He has done complete justice to the role and in fact, he has brought out his best another side as an actor and showed what potential he has. I hope he gets more of roles that bring out the best in him (a role like Vijay Sethupathi’s in “Vikram Veda” maybe). And yes,
It is his “One Man Show!”
Sri Lakshmi Garu, after a long time I felt, has got a role that justifies her experience in acting and needless to say, she has performed brilliantly. Others have delivered decent performances but, I felt Late. John Kottoly (remember Ranga Rao, in G.O.D?) has been under-utilised and this would have been a great memory of him, had it been a little detailed. Thank God, the climax is a saviour. Kudos to the director and writers for keeping it real and for not faking the known road.
‘Locked’ looks like to be made with stringent budgets and is decent enough. The writing is good but, the script doesn’t help the audience understand the characters well, to feel them. Probably, that emotional connection should have been worked on. Nevertheless, Locked is a decent watch during this lockdown time 🙂 It tries to show the ‘dark side of a genius’ (not all, maybe!) and the emotional vs intellectual conflict such people go through. What would one get influenced by, through personal tragedy? Emotion or Intellect? since the consequences are crazily different for each of them.
All said and done, Locked is a decent experiment by the director and writers probably inspired by a western Template making it adaptive to Telugu. My only complaint is that, had there been a tighter narrative and a little more detail to character establishment, this show should have been a crazy thriller which is not a very common genre in Telugu. But, do watch it as it keeps you glued enough 🙂