What is Journalism? Is it about telling the truth fearlessly or fearing for life and giving up on hope? What we are witnessing today, can we call it Journalism? Can we call it Patriotism? Can people just shout out anything, talk any rubbish and sell lies in the name of Journalist? So what if I expect truth? What if as a human being I expect to survive and eat at least one time a day? Why do I not have money? Why no one of these supposed high paid journalists address the rat in the hut?

Plot : A journalist (Tanikella Bharani) fears to write the truth in fear of goons harming his family. The son Satyadev Marthand (Kalyanram) decides to look for any other job than journalism. He arrives at Bangkok to meet dreaded don Javed Bhai (Jagapathi Babu). There he tries to woo his daughter Aliya Khan (Aditi Arya) but she keeps him at a distance. After many attempts finally she falls for his artistry and even Javed Bhai builds a rapport with him. While this thread is going on, an International Hacker gang attacks many banks and releases videos on internet through a website and the information is revealed by a guy in anonymous Mask. Javed Bhai gets the shock of his life and Aliya is cheated by Satya. Why? Who is this Satya and what connection does he have with Hackers? Is he being utilized by an anonymous person to get his job done? What is ISM all about? Watch it at a screening near you!

Performances : Nandamuri Kalyanram proves that he can carry a film on his shoulders without a doubt once again. He changed his body and body language for the film but his dialogue delivery is still a issue for him. At times it is good and at times it misses the mark. He needs to work on this one aspect to move up the ladder. Somehow, this movie’s intensity seemed to better match with Jr. NTR than Kalyanram but nevertheless Kalyanram did his career best.

Aditi Arya lacks in emoting, dialogue delivery but scores in skin show and looking beautiful on screen. May be two more films before she can say to herself, I have to improve on acting. Jagapathi Babu is an asset for the film but Puri did not give him a character that Jagapathi can lend some credibility to. He can just sleepwalk through these kind of roles and he did exactly that.

Tanikella Bharani is good in the bits offered to him. The actors who played friends of Kalyanram are decent actors. Posani Krishna Murali and Jayaprakash Reddy as ‘Ministers’ are ok, nothing much can be expected from them for these Characters. Except for Kalyanram none of the actors had decent sorted out characters in the film.

Technicalities : Puri Jagannadh as writer and director, shows glimpses of his old self and plummates down again into the abyss of his recent obsessions. Trying to be new is appreciable but they need to work as well. These new techniques and screenplay styles can you make one appreciate the creator in you only when they gel in with the cohesive script. And Puri once again fails in delivering one compact cohesive film barring few spurts of brilliance and that too as a dialogue writer.

The speech of the hero before the committe is a well thought out, written and executed scene but the viewer wishes to see such moments of brilliance more through out the film. Puri again tried to convince the audience with a half baked script banking on lead actor ‘s performing capabilities in important scenes. Tarak was able to pull it off in Temper especially during the last 25 mins of the movie, but here Kalyanram needed much more strong material like Temper.

While, the movie does fall on track with hacking scenes and plans, it falls foolishly off track with dumb conclusion. The character of the lead actor is inspired from real life whistle blower, Julian Assange, the character of the actor here goes the telugu hero route and the story doesn’t get enough justice with likely budget and creative constraints. The hacking scenes look like inspired from many Korean and English films and the significance of Mask and reveal falls flat in the screenplay.

Cinematography by Mukesh G is bright and radiant. There is no Puri Jagannadh film, as far as I can remember that was shot bad. Editing by Junaid Siddiqui doesn’t score much in this effort. It looks like a simple cut paste job and the effect used by him for the song nee manasuki did not seem to have gelled well with the concept and the characters. It looked alienating and separate effect created to show off skills.

Music by Anup Rubens is in sync with the movie and is forgettable after watching the movie. BG Score did suit the film better than the music.

Analysis : Puri Jagannadh does have lot of fire left in him and the way he is trying to raise important issues through his films is applaudable. But the way he concludes or initiates a story and some scenes are still long long long way away from the man who delivered Badri, Idiot, Amma Nanna O Tamil Ammayi, Sivamani and Pokiri. The traces of brilliance and vintage Puri Jagannadh are still there in him and may be some day he might come out of his mask. There are many logical flaws and as a Telugu Film viewer you are expected to not care about them. May be some day, we as viewers might get something not just one time watchable but as brilliant as Idiot or Pokiri from Puri Jagannadh again!

A Puri mark ‘ISM’ but ill-defined with laziness all over.

Rating : 2.5/5

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