Cast: Prudhvi Dandamudi, Maira Doshi, Banerjee
For a thriller that’s about a man who is in desperate search of his sole remaining family member, there’s no urgency in IIT Krishnamurthy. For the first 30 minutes or so, it’s like Krishnamurthy (Prudhvi Dandamudi) has all the time in the world. He has time to crack jokes with a ‘funny’ roommate who has taken medical leave to reduce his tummy. He has time to chill at cafes with Jhanvi (Maira Doshi) where they are either falling in love or already in love.
And in case you had any doubts about their relationship, we get not one but two generic duets to fill us in. But this roommate and the lover have absolutely no bearing on the actual plot, which is Krishnamurthy’s search for his missing uncle. Jhanvi is just there for the songs and for a longish stretch later on where he explains his side of the story. Instead of speaking directly to the audience, she’s merely a stand-in to tell us how clever Krishnamurthy really is.
But what’s frustrating about IIT Krishnamurthy is that there’s a decent idea in there somewhere. There’s a deceptive aspect in the writing that needed to be far sharper, and the screenplay needed to remove the half-dozen distractions that really take the pace away from such a thriller. The bare bones idea for the film is apt for a brisk, 90-minute missing-person thriller. But you’ll need a microscope to find this merit in a jungle of randomness. I still haven’t quite understood why the film takes a 20-minute detour that has something to do with Krishnamurthy’s missing person posters appearing all across Hyderabad. Sure, it makes for an interesting interval punch but it just goes berserk with what’s mainly a five-minute concept.
What doesn’t help either is the film’s over-reliance on the big ending. It’s like the makers decided to explain everything with one long stretch of dialogue. So if something hadn’t made sense until then, they’re just going to attribute even that to the hero’s genius. There’s no room for errors in Krishnamurthy’s plans and the sequence of things that has to fall right in place for his desired result seems annoyingly implausible. In other places, details about financial fraud and the whole police operation are too simplistic to be taken seriously.
And for a film that’s obsessed with the protagonist’s big throbbing “IIT brain”, it really overestimates its own intelligence, while underestimating ours.