It was just five minutes before the show was supposed to begin, and I was at the ticket counter looking here and there, waiting for the queue ahead of me to thin down. Fridays are usually a busy day at the cinemas, and, today, most of the movie-goers seemed like they wanted to watch Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam 2. My show was almost cancelled because there were very few people for it, but I fought for the film to be screened. I was determined to give Loudspeaker a chance to let it wash my spirit anew.
Alas, dreams remained mere dreams, and, I somehow, survived the show to review it. Loudspeaker opens with character introductions. And I was immediately taken aback at the awful cheesiness of it all. Just last week, Kannada cinema saw Katheyondu Shuruvagide, a romance drama that had a cocktail of emotions, and, the latest release has so many distasteful lines about love and family in the first ten minutes that it makes it impossible for anybody to keep a straight face for the rest of the movie.
And if that’s just the set-up, how do you think the remaining portions are going to be when all the characters end up together under one roof – three couples plus a funny guy. No, this isn’t a horror film. It’s not a comedy film either. It’s a film that deals with serious subjects. That’s what the makers would like to believe, I guess. Sumanth Bhat and Karthik Rao play a doctor and a lecturer respectively, and the other two characters (played by Abhishek Jain and Bhaskar Ninasam) have jobs that aren’t defined clearly.
But, director Shiva Tejass hasn’t given a moment’s thought about his female leads. The characters played by Kavya Sha, Anusha Rodrigues, and Disha Dinakar, are included in the same space as their husbands. Though the movie revolves around these characters on a single night, we don’t know anything beyond the surface level when it comes to these women. The one-liner of Loudspeaker – that can be seen in the trailer – is what made me sit through the movie – a group of friends answer their phones with the loudspeaker on, and the people on the other end of the line speak as if nobody’s hearing them. Secrets after secrets fall out of the closet and no couple goes back home with the satisfaction of having a fancy dinner, for which they have actually made an effort to dress up and look presentable.
The husband who says he'd die if his wife dies, cheats on her with multiple women; and the wife who doesn't say anything about the thorns in her marital life is cheating on her husband with his friend. The inter-connectedness of the web of lies would have made for a better story in a drama helmed by a better director. In the hands of Shiva Tejass, however, they are brought in for only a handful of shock value moments.
I wonder if a few people got together for a binge-drinking session and wrote this film. Of course, the messages they’re giving the society through dialogues via the face and voice of Rangayana Raghu couldn’t have been penned on the same night. They were probably written the next morning. But what were they thinking? And, surprisingly, every character is a homophobe – other than the gay character – in the movie.
Loudspeaker is a movie I want to forget as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.