Mansion 24 is the latest web series that has been created by Ohmkar. The series has Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar as the lead and is now streaming on Hotstar. Let’s review it here.
Story: The story revolves around Amrutha(Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar), an investigative journalist, and her father Kalidas(Satyaraj), an archaeologist accused of stealing valuable treasures from archaeological excavations. Amrita is determined to clear her father’s name and embarks on an investigation. It leads her to a mysterious Mansion 24 on a hill, where people claim no one has returned from. What did the mansion’s watchman reveal to her? What is the back story of Mansion 24? To know all this, watch the show on the big screen.
Performances: Varalaxmi Sarathkumar takes on the role of an investigative journalist with competence. However, those expecting her character to be as memorable as Jayamma from “Veera Simha Reddy” might find themselves disappointed. Her role primarily revolves around observing and interpreting the stories, which might not resonate with the audience. Rao Ramesh, who plays the role of the security guard at the haunted mansion, leaves a positive impression on his performance.
Nandu, portraying a ruthless conman targeting call girls, displays moments of strength in his character. Avika Gor, a medical shop employee, Abhinaya as Rajeev Kanakala’s wife, Srimaan as a novelist who believes in reincarnation, KGF fame Archana Jois as a pregnant woman are good. Sathyaraj’s appearance in the show is brief, with only a few scenes.
Technical Aspects: The dialogues, especially those between Varalaxmi Sarathkumar and Rao Ramesh, add a unique touch to ‘Mansion 24’ and set it apart from typical horror thrillers. The series incorporates timely dialogues like “If the illusion is accompanied by fear, it becomes real,” enhancing the impact of each story. The production design is commendable, showcasing fresh visuals in each episode. The camera work is clean, and the music, although less emphasized in horror series, contributes to the overall atmosphere.
Even with a substantial budget, the visual effects in the series leave much to be desired, particularly the wide shots of the mansion, the crows, the black cat, and various other computer-generated elements. These effects come across as noticeably artificial in nearly every scene, which is a significant disappointment for the show, even though these elements are not directly related to the storyline.
Analysis: The series consists of six episodes, each with a different story, but fear is the common thread running through all of them. While Omkar’s previous works in the ‘Raju Gari Gadhi’ movies combined horror with humor and societal issues, ‘Mansion 24’ focuses more on fear and addresses societal fears.
Omkar’s style of filming horror scenes is evident in this series. Each story draws inspiration from real-life events, such as the Burari family’s tragedy and a young woman’s involvement in a murder. The series is not overly complex, but it maintains viewer interest through straightforward storytelling. Characters from one story often appear in another, creating a sense of anticipation, and making the transitions between stories seamless.
Creating scary movies is a form of art, but not many Indian directors have mastered it. Raghava Lawrence with the ‘Kanchana’ series in Tamil and Omkar with the ‘Rajugari Gadhi’ series in Telugu have achieved success in delivering frightening entertainment. Now, Omkar has entered the world of online streaming with the web series ‘Mansion 24,’ but his narration is not that great and gripping.
The character arcs are not that great and the scenes are quite predictable. Ohmkar creates the effect but the first three episodes are not that gripping. Things pick up only in the fourth episode and the thrills are decent. Overall, the series does not provide the wow factor.
Verdict: On the whole, Mansion 24 has a star cast, technical expertise, and a solid backdrop. But the presentation is just about okay as the thrills are only passable and do not showcase anything new and have routine thrills. Watch it only if you have nothing else to do.