Review: Cab Stories

‘Cab Stories’ is now streaming on Spark OTT. Here is our review of the latest OTT release. 

Story:
Giridhar (Giridhar) is a middle-class cabbie whose customer on a night is Shalini (Divi Vaidthya), who is drunk and is sorry that her boyfriend has misbehaved with her. During the commute, Shalini talks about how her boyfriend (Srihan Shri). An empathetic Giridhar lends her an ear. 

A drug dealer, who was Giridhar’s previous customer, forgets a pouch of drug with a precious note in the cab. When Giridhar decides to capitalize on it, a series of unforeseen happenings unfold. The cascade of events puts him, Shalini, her boyfriend and a bunch of other characters in trouble.

Performances:
The thriller is largely a well-acted one. That said, there are major complaints with a few portions, where the actors behave like they have to emote stock emotions. Divi Vaidthya, a social media celeb who was an inmate of last year’s Bigg Boss Telugu 4, should have got a well-written role. Giridhar plays the protagonist. Srihan Shri is good, while Nandini and Siri Hanumanth pass muster. 

Dhanraj as a constable and Praveen as a lecherous HR person are disappointing, so also Santosh Reddy and others. The drug-dealing gang is full of mediocre actors. 

Technical Departments:
Sujatha Siddharth’s cinematography doesn’t make the cut. The night-effect shots could have been better. Sai Kartheek dishes out a decent tune for the intro song, which is shot on Divi and is packed with stock lines. The romantic song is a turn-off. 

Analysis:
The first volume of ‘Cab Stories’, whose concept is by producer S Krishna (of ‘Gaali Sampath’ fame), cries for content. The ending is a damp squib and there is no cliff-hanger that can entice the audience to wait for the next edition. 

A crime thriller where a couple of characterizations are laced with twists, ‘Cab Stories’ goes for a toss after the first act. Forced comedy involving Dhanraj, Ananth (as a privacy-invading psychiatrist) and Giridhar are a huge letdown. 

Divi’s character goes missing for a good portion. This is problematic because the opening credits feature a song on her – where she is seen philosophizing that what is right and wrong is subjective. The ‘blah blah’ song makes way for a Divi who is demure and timid. 

In a crime thriller, the villains have to be really edgy.  Their behaviour here borders on the silly. There is no urgency in their body language and the henchmen seem like they have been transported from a low-end TV serial for want of budget. 

The scenes involving a HR person and his victim go on and on. They look forced rather than organic. 

Director KVN Rajesh fails to keep the audience’s interest intact after the first 30 minutes. Even at about 90 minutes, ‘Cab Stories’ feels too stretched. 

Verdict:
‘Cab Stories’ is a loosely-written thriller that lacks the sting to keep the viewer engaged. Spark OTT, which recently brought RGV’s ‘D Company’, is streaming it as a barely 90-minute episode. Despite its relatively reasonable run-time, the proceedings are empty. 

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