Review: Pachchis

‘Pachchis’ is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Here is our review of the latest direct OTT release.
Story:
Abhiram (Raamz, a debutant) wants to strike rich by gambling his way to prosperity. As bad luck would have it, he loses a fortune in the process. RK (Ravi Varma), the casino owner, demands that he repay Rs 17 lakh immediately. Pushed to a corner, Abhiram now seeks to mess up with the right-hand man of a politician in order to make a fast buck. In the process, Abhiram pulls off a series of unexpected gimmicks. Can he come out unscathed?

Performances:
Consistent, understated performances are a hallmark of ‘Pachchis’. The well-acted portions elevate the proceedings and add to the tense subtext. Raamz is cool with his deadpan expression in a lot of scenes. Ravi Varma gets to essay a well-crafted role after films like ‘Kshanam’ and ‘Terror’. 

Jay Chandra, Dayanand Reddy, Subhalekha Sudhakar, Vishwendar Reddy and  Keshav Deepak fit the bill. 

Swetaa Varma deserves a special mention. As the sister of a missing man, the artist brings to the table a certain earnestness. She will go a long way if she lands a big-ticket movie. 
Technical Departments:
Smaran Sai’s background music in this songless movie is a major asset. The BGM is on the lines of thrillers among web series. The sound design is effective. Kartik Parmar’s cinematography is another plus. The lighting is used well barring in a few portions (such as the shoot-out scenes). 

Credit where due. Rohan Singh’s production design borrows from the style of some neo-noir Hollywood flicks. The costumes by Srushti Bansode are apt and fit the colour palette of the movie. The Sound Design by Nagarjuna Thallapalli stands out. 

Analysis:
Months after encouraging the Indie thriller ‘Gatham’, Amazon Prime Video has come out with the reasonably enagaging ‘Pachchis’. While it’s not breathtaking, it’s not boring either. 

Somewhere in the film, a key character says that a task that can’t be finished shouldn’t be taken up in the first place. This holds true more for those who live life on the edge. Gamblers, tainted politicians facing an election, casino lords looking to get off the tiger’s back, undercover cops working amidst ruthless beasts… Considering the number of character types who are unsure about what might happen next, the title ‘Pachchis’ could also denote the number of ways in which they could slip into danger. 
The film is a political thriller in a mild way. Yet directors Sri Krishna and Rama Sai don’t create archetypes. The politicians are not caricatures. They don’t talk in an old-fashioned way. 

As for the equations between the debtor Abhiram and the creditor RK, they are not entirely novel. That said, their track is revved up by their interesting conversations. 
The dialogues demand unmixed attention from the audience. The track involving Abhiram and Swetaa Varma’s character should have been better. The shoot-outs are underwhelming in terms of how they are shot. 

Verdict:
At more than 130 minutes, ‘Pachchis’ is a tad long. With a better narration, this one could have been edger. If you are a fan of dialogue-oriented and non-straightforward thrillers, this one is for you. 

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