: The film focuses on the dark side of relationships, and how, in real life, people are not really who they claim to be on social networking sites.
: Ladies and Gentlemen focuses on the lives of three protagonists - a college student, who is desperate to fall in love, a housewife yearning for love from her husband, and a call centre employee who wants to make a quick buck, to drive home the point that people have dual lives, especially those who thrive on social networking sites. It could be anybody's story and that's what makes the whole film more believable. And the consequences, which one of the main characters face in the end, is a reminder that there's a dark side to people around you which is wrapped in layers of sugar-coated cunningness.
We have Chaitanya Krishna playing Krishna Murthy, a college student with a heart of gold. In his desperation to fall in love, he befriends Deepa (Swathi Deekshiith) and soon, he falls head over heels for her. On the other hand, Priya (Nikitha Narayan) and Anand (Kamal Kamaraju) struggle to keep their marriage together, especially with Anand's hectic work schedule taking a toll on their relationship. And at this juncture, Priya's ex-boyfriend, Rahul (Adivi Sesh) gets in touch with her after a long gap and slowly, sparks start flying between the two. The third story has Vijay (Mahat Raghavendra), a call centre employee who ends up resorting to cybercrime and fraud to keep up his lifestyle and at the same time make his girlfriend, Anjali (Jasmin Bhasin) happy.
The writing is clear on the wall that each one of them faces dire consequences because of the choices they make at a weak moment of their lives. And PB Manjunath, the director, underlines the fact that once you take a step towards the wrong direction there's no escaping from the rabbit hole, which doesn't seem to end. Like life itself, the film seems sensible enough when you retrace the steps taking by each of the characters to manipulate others. The second half is riveting and everything falls in to place quite well in the third act.
However, that's not to say that the film is spectacular in its approach. The first half, in particular, tests your patience as each one of the three stories is narrated in an incoherent manner. And it's hard to empathise with the characters to begin with and their characterisations flip flop from outright annoying to amateurish. On top of that, you begin to wonder if the actors themselves are clueless about what's written in the script; however, there's an enormous shift in the tone of the film in the post interval sequences and from then onwards it becomes a story-driven film rather than a character-driven set piece. The best part of the film is the ending which evokes a lot of sympathy for the lead characters.
The film gives a gist of everything that can go wrong with the internet generation and full credit to writer Sanjeev Reddy for coming up with a convincing storyline. Among the actors, Adivi Sesh, Nikitha, Kamal Kamaraju and Chaitanya Krishna deliver good performances in their respective roles in the second half. The film might not rank high in terms of visual aesthetics, but it does suck you into its twisted world where everyone seems to have an agenda of his own. The bottom line is - the next time you login to a social networking site, ask yourself what can possibly go wrong? The answer might very well be - a lot, like the film suggests. And if you are sensible enough, you might want to think twice before befriending anyone who only puts up pictures of celebs on their profiles or says "hey...asl pls".