There is a real and current risk of data leaks and breaches of confidentiality. When personal information is seeping into the dark web, the titles pop up all too often.
The director Bhargav Macharla’s anti-utopia tale through the Telugu film NET (streaming Zee5). Friendly, doesn’t feel bloated. What if a private room is viewed 24/7, and footage is broadcast to countless voyeur subscribers?
Bhargav examines the hacked life branch in the lives of two couples:
Priya (Avika Gore) and Ranjit (Vishwadev Rachakonda) and Lakshmana (Rahul Ramakrishna) and Suchitra (Praneteta Patnaik). Both observers and observers were cursed. Those who win are intermediaries who kill by abusing technology. However, history avoids showing or commenting on intermediaries.
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Avika and Vishwadev started their life together in a luxury housing complex in Hyderabad that closely guards intruders. Ironically, the more extensive break came. From a series of tiny cameras installed in the apartment that broadcast events.
From Priya and Ranjit’s lives to subscribers on the dark network. Content is marked as accessible, silver or gold, depending on the room where the tape is from. The couple had their problems.
Unlike a posh closed community, NET takes us to another couple’s shabby and cramped. The lower-middle-class home belonging to another couple in Nalgonda. Lakshmana never misses an opportunity to say. That he would have a better job and a more handsome wife if he were better educated! His obsession with white women leads him to scenes from Priya’s life.
Bhargav compares gender equality between the two partners.
Ranjit cooks for Priya until Lakshman admits everything his wife did for him. Priya can take some time to reconcile. After a fight until Suchitra realizes that she has been in an abusive relationship for a long time.
Music by Naresh Kumaran and camera by Abhiraj Nair created tension in both houses. Though Lakshmana and Suchitra’s blows become piercing and repetitive after a while. In the end, the two women found a way to go beyond the treatment prescribed for them.
NET could be a full-fledged tech thriller. If it had been fighting cybercrime. But it remains content as human drama and leaves us with uncomfortable questions about data breaches.
At 90 minutes, this is a suspenseful film that continues. And is greatly supported by Rahul Ramakrishna, Pranetita and Avika. Vishnu Oi, in support, also made an impression. Rahul and Pranetita live their fat side without fear of letting go of their pride. And letting their talents speak for themselves. Avika comes to the place where she finds the dark truth.
However, the film never tries to erase the melodrama from Priya’s plight when it all happened.
He does not offer a social message, nor does he try to preach to us. Respecting the privacy of others, though he has every means to do so. Jayaprakash’s Tamil film Radhakrishnan, which deals with the same subject, has a social message. I like the trouble-free handling of NET. Almost no plot decorations. It creates brilliant tension with minimal sound as Laxman watches the couple over his phone. Furthermore, deviations from the emerging trend in the OTT era, s*xual scenes. Either between Laxman and Suchitra or intimacy between Priya and Rajit.
Rahul Ramakrishna embodies Laxman and keeps all weak points intact. He is a character that can easily be mistaken for a s*x addict. From a cartoon in the hands of younger actors and directors. The way Rahul plays makes you feel sorry for the poor fool. Who strays to make a living beyond what he imagines and, at the same time, provokes disgust.
Especially when he abuses his well-meaning wife.
Despite not having an agency, Praneta Patnaik’s Suchitra is also not a stereotype. The presence of characters like Suhitra and Ranjit makes this thriller an exploration of fake relationships. On the other hand, Avika Gor’s Priya appears shallow and more cinematic. Which begins to shine alongside the more realistic image of Laxman and Suhitra.
I imagine the same piece of music would fit perfectly at the suggestion. Or assembly stage in a rom-com feels out of place when forced on crawlers waiting to watch couples make love.
In general, NET is a self-awareness endeavour that works more like a drama than a thriller. Rahul Ramakrishna’s brilliant performance and peace of mind made it one of the year’s best films.