Kshana Kshanam (1991)
- Written by Ram Gopal Varma
- Directed by Ram Gopal Varma
a popular dialog from Kshana Kshanam
Kshana Kshanam - Movie Highlights
Telugu films always have been about hero worshiping and everything revolves around them. The age old cliches that beg to be mocked viz., hero's standard introduction via a fight sequence, song and dance routine at regular intervals and a separate comedy track etc are common in every other film. But in ages, there comes a film which gives importance to the story and creates wonder at the box office. And again road movies do not conform to the usual Tollywood formulaic trash. That somebody could conjure up courage in giving the industry such a completely varied thought but equally entertaining act, was a testament to RGV's penchant for variety and willingness to go against the grain. Following a stupendously successful Shiva (1989) and borrowing the setup and the mood from Robert Zemeckis' 'Romancing the Stone' for this, RGV gave Telugu Industry a path breaking film that received critical acclaim with four state Nandi awards and Filmfare award - South. RGV later remade the film in Hindi as Daud (1997) - a bad remake and also tread the same path in 'Thiruda Thiruda', 'Anaganaga Oka Roju' (Hindi remake - 'GO') and 'Road' on the lines of Kshana Kshanam, but this remains the highest rated comedy thriller ever made in Telugu and a best film of RGV from his early days.
Kshana Kshanam (every second) begins with a small time bank robbery, which goes wrong when one of the gang members double crosses them all and takes off with the loot. The loot is kept safe and the receipt of the same is hidden in the envelope cover in the photo studio. Satya (Sridevi), a middle class working girl comes to collect her photos from the studio and accidentally receives the same cover of which she is unaware. While the gang that robbed the bank goes after her for the clue, one member dies in her apartment and she believes she's the one who killed him. In the due course of incidents, she comes across a petty thief Chandu (Venkatesh) and they are on the run. The pair chased by the gang and its eccentric leader Nayar (Paresh Rawal) and also the police (Rami Reddy), escape into the jungle away from the city. Overwhelmed by what's happening, they take refuge in the each other's deception and being helpless they spend the night in the jungle. At dawn, they again run into Nayar and his gang in the jungle and Nayar questions Satya about the whereabouts of the money which she is unaware of, at which point even Chandu becomes suspicious of her. But Satya is totally clueless of what's going on. When police interferes, in the mayhem they are again on the run towards the city by hijacking Nayar's vehicle. After some logical discussion between them, they come to a conclusion as to why the gang is behind them and try to find a way out of the mess. Once back in the city they return to her apartment which is guarded by the police. They find the envelope cover which contains a railway station cloak room receipt. While still the gang and the police on their trail, what follows is another round of chase leading to an action packed climax.
If one thought 'Shiva' brought in a refreshing change to Telugu Film Industry - a trend setter and a cult film - well this one betters that, and has RGV class written all over it. He gave a movie that was so different for that time period in Telugu which was based 100% on masala type movies being churned out one after another with almost same kind of story setup. And when you watch Kshana Kshanam, you either hold it in high regard or are treated with awe. It has remained as one of the best screenplays ever written in Telugu, though it can never be determined if this movie was a way ahead of its time. A character driven movie with an interesting plot, this movie has a lot going for it. It combines suspense and action with just enough romance and RGV keeps it simple and as a result the story moves along well. The excellent story narration technique of RGV, use of simple jargon in dialogue instead of heavy heroic ones and sentimental scenes which were very much in vogue those days, give the necessary refreshing change. It is visually compelling. The fast edits and angles in dramatic scenes created a sense of urgency and menace. Stunts were also done beautifully especially the climax scene. The other stand out aspect of Kshana Kshanam is the excellent background score and Music of M M Keeravani. Every song 'Jaamu rathiri jabilamma', 'Jumbare', 'Andanantha Ettha' etc are placed well. Some songs are there for commercial purpose which makes the pace loose. Otherwise, it is a clean and pacy entertainer.
Brilliant, close-to-life performances by the lead actors lend the film's rather fictional storyline a sense of authenticity and believability. Venkatesh is convincing as both the charming trickster and the gutsy hero. As the petty thief he has a degree of coolness in his attitude which makes him so adorable. He is a perfect foil to his female protagonist Sridevi who is so vivacious and emotional. It is Venkatesh who could do justice in playing a mellowed down character so perfectly and he lends a solid support. Bramhanandam's cameo is unlike any other film and is hilarious. Paresh Rawal as a sometimes bumbling bad guy is simply fantastic. And the star of the movie, Sridevi as a simple, bubbly and motormouth Satya is simply excellent. Her natural acting (her character's natural responses to the situations she is thrown into), her expressions and her histrionics are priceless. With her body language and timing she conveys so much with her simple gestures and reactions and she is absolutely gorgeous. Venkatesh and Sridevi share a fine on-screen chemistry and both do a commendable job and it's fantastic to watch their characters play off the other in each and every scene they inhabit. Each allows the other actor to shine.
A fun watch anytime!