Key : Is a shoddy experiment
Release date: 16 July 2011.
123telugu.com Rating : 2.5/5
Director : Nagendra Prasad
Producer : Sukumar Reddy
Music Director : Vijay Kurakula
Starring : Jagapathi babu and others...
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Experimental movies are always a welcome relief, not just because they offer something new, but because they show us what is possible in cinema. When such experiments happen in Telugu films, it gets all the more exciting. Key, attempts to be an experiment but it backfires because of its innumerable limitations.

Key  What’s it about : A total of nine candidates gather together in a closed room for what seems to be a special kind of a test. The invigilator (Jagapathi Babu) arrives, tells them that his company intends to select only one candidate from them based on their answer for his question. He also lays certain conditions to write the answer, which look quite simple from the outside; anyone failing to meet with the conditions will be disqualified. He leaves the people locked in the room, along with a watchman, but leaves out one important thing – he never gives them any question – or so it seems. The nine candidates first have to find the right question in order to give the right answer. Together they team up to find the question, with their analysis and expertise in their subjects. But with the countdown glaring at them and with the conditions seeming too ridiculous, their true characters begin to come out and candidates start getting eliminated. Who wins, and how does the winner find the ‘question’ is the ‘key’ to this story.

What is Good : The very concept of not giving names to any of the characters in the film, and yet managing to make a film of more than 90 minutes is a laudable attempt. The fact that a popular Telugu film actor – Jagapathi Babu agreed to do a short role in this film is appreciable. He portrays the character of the invigilator with lot of seriousness. Out of most of the other actors ‘Sakshi’ Swapna manages to bring honesty to her role and the cinematographer and music director chip in decently in their respective departments. However, poor narrative, inept treatment and bad performances spoil the movie.

What is bad: The basic premise of Key is inspired from El Metodo - an Argentinian-Spanish-Italian –single room thriller-but misses the kind of intensity the latter had. Most European single room thrillers may not always have best finales, but their logic seems untouchable. The writer(s) of Key had the chance to create a claustrophobic environment, look deep into the dark side of people and come up with shocking revelations. Instead what we get is an exhibition of bookish knowledge, a discussion on possibilities, an arguably illogical solution and a moral explanation that is in complete contrast to what the movie preaches. One wonders why, even after having an actor like Jagapathi Babu in their kitty, the filmmakers couldn’t find half-decent actors. Atleast they could have done some justice to their roles. On the whole the movie never seems convincing enough.

Technical Departments : Director Nagendra’s thinking may be different, but he fizzes out on what could have been a great story to narrate. Music director Vijay doesn’t disappoint as much as the director. P.G.Vinda’s decent camera work is spoilt by some half-hearted editing. Because it is a single room thriller, Key has only one set which looks alright. Otherwise technically, there is nothing brilliant in the movie.

Bottomline : Good intentions don’t necessarily mean good actions. Key suffers exactly from it. Watch it only if you are a big patron of experiments happening in Telugu cinema.


123Telugu.com Rating : 2.5/5

Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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