Film & Cinema | Cinema Reviews

Review: Elektra

Lost in highly disturbing emotions, Elektra and Edwin in particular end up destroying each other

  • Gautaman Bhaskaran
  • Published: 00:00 January 20, 2011
  • e+

  • Image Credit: Rex Features
  • Lost in highly disturbing emotions, Elektra and Edwin in particular end up destroying each other
  • Cast Nayantara, Manisha Koirala, Prakashraj, Biju Menon, Suraj Skanda, KPAC Lalitha
  • Director Shyamaprasad
  • Rating G

In many ways, Shyamaprasad's Elektra is almost poetic in its texture and form. Inspired by the Greek tragic myth, the film has a surreal feel, mostly shot inside a dimly lit, sprawling ancestral house in central Kerala, where light and shade create a kind of spookiness that blends well with the plot of death and revenge.

Elektra, played by Nayantara with remarkable conviction and subtlety, is so possessive of her Jaffna-based father Abraham (Prakashraj), that when he returns home she is all set to poison his mind about his wife Diana (Koirala) having an affair with Isaac (also Prakashraj). However, before the night breaks into dawn, Abraham is dead, and Elektra in her jealous rage seeks to wreak vengeance on her mother. When Elektra's brother, Edwin (Suraj Skanda) - who is plagued by an Oedipus complex - arrives for the funeral, Elektra tells him about their mother's so-called affair.

In the midst of all this scandal, deceit and evil, police officer Peter (Biju Menon), who is inlove with Elektra, seems like an oasis of sanity and she turns to him several times in an attempt to shake herself from this destructive web of murder and viciousness.

The script - penned by Shyamaprasad and Kiron Prabhakar - while letting a few loose ends slip through (like Peter's uncop-like behaviour), aptly captures the mysteriousness of Abraham's family, pushing us deep into the world of damning human follies that are often provoked by love and passion.

Lost in highly disturbing emotions, Elektra and Edwin in particular end up destroying each other. Forbidden desires trap them, sucking the very life out of them. Rivetingly caught on Sanu Varghese's lens, the film's shadowy tone metaphorically highlights illusions to a point where they merge with the real.

A time comes when Elektra fails to see truth, and in this terrifying situation Diana is brutally victimised.

The end of all this can only be catastrophically dreadful.

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