Director: Ram Abbaraju
Cast: Rahul Ravindran, Pavani Gangi Reddy, Vennala Kishore, Ravi Varma, Pramodini
Streaming on: Zee5
Dhrusti is a Telugu film about a presumptuous photographer (played with charming conviction by Rahul Ravindran) with a suspicious gut who finds himself embroiled in a string of murders. It is also insufferably bad.
This film primarily functions as a portrait of urban loneliness. It has a young man in a sprawling apartment who sleeps alone on his marble floor, getting drunk as matinee songs shot in technicolour frames drone one after the other on Youtube. An old man is seen longing for his kids who live abroad; he now talks to himself. Two lovers, one loving, one steely reconcile to their lonely urban singlehood. But of course, our hero has the solution to all these problems. He is charming, so he must also be invincible.
Beyond this, the film ceases to produce much value. The background score is too jarring, too suggestive, the romance is too inevitable, the circumstances too contrived to make an engaging, entertaining narrative. Here, doors open with either bobby pins or a kick, windows are left open for strangers to jump in, curtains are never drawn, always inviting strangers with zoom cameras to peek in. The film could also have flirted with voyeurism, but our hero is too moral for that. He only uses his zoom camera to peek into homes and solve murders, make the lovers love, the elderly smile, and the estranged couples reconcile.
Apart from its clunky dialogues, there are so many unendearing things about the film; suicide is a joke, the police force is a farce, freelance murderers are as easily available as cooking oil, fidget spinners are not spun correctly… The film plays out like a bizarre, simplistic, string of events that stack on top of each other like a fragile Jenga game. Except this time, I wished for the pile to collapse, and the game to end.