Jeeva (Allu Sirish) is an engineering graduate with loving parents who seem to have an obsession with the retro era. The girl he falls in love with, Jo (Surbhi), lives with her sister's family. But what happens when their lives start mirroring with another couple's? That is what the film is all about.
Jeeva (Allu Sirish) is your typical everyday man - an engineering graduate and math pro yet jobless, has loving parents who seem stuck in the gramophone era and loves playing games on his phone when bored. He falls in love with the girl he has just met in the parking lot, Jo (Surbhi) - an art student with a fractured ankle and geeky glasses. Jo is a motherless orphan who lives with her pregnant sister, brother-in-law and niece. Both families are happy with the match and there seems to be nothing stopping a happy-forever ending for them!
However, since Jo is incapacitated at the moment with nothing much to do, she turns into a Hitchcockian Peeping Tom and creepily knows everything about the ins and outs of all the residents living in the building opposite hers. But it is the one couple bang opposite her apartment that seem to catch her eye - a newly-married Srinivas (Avasarala) and Swathy (Seerat) who fight a lot. Because Jo is insistent that Srinivas is an abusive husband, out to torture Swathy, Jeeva decides to find out all about the couple before pointing fingers. In the process, he finds out that his and Jo's life seems to mirror Srinivas and Swathy's lives, right down to the minutest details. How he now fights to keep their lives from derailing like the other couple's is what 'Okka Kshanam' is all about, but just on the surface.
'Okka Kshanam' tries really hard to float over the typical Tollywood formula while trying to narrate a new concept. However, at the end when the hero saves the day, one really can't help but wonder if that's what director Vi Anand wanted to do. The first half of the film takes its time to set up the nuances of all the characters in the film and to explore the concept of parallel lives. However, the reactions of Jeeva and Jo at finding out that their life is mirroring someone else's, come across more as a caricature of the pure horror they're supposed to portray. Post interval, one expects the film to explore more of a "parallel lives" theory or offer some explanation for everything that's going on other than 'science', but nothing of that sort happens. One even expects that the reason for a key event in the film would have a better explanation, but that doesn't happen either. In fact, by the end, the story veers more towards cliched crime, far out from where the story started off as.
Characters in the film, like a Professor, who's an expert on the parallel lives theory, is brought in and chucked out for no reason. Even the silly villain faces the same fate in the film. With few songs, the BGM of this film is the hero of it all. Taut and engaging, it keeps you on the edge even if the story on-screen doesn't live up to it. And if we're being honest, a lot of events in the film seem to make no sense, leaving one wondering what even transpired on screen. Especially because despite all the 'science' references, 'Okka Kshanam' seems to be set in a universe where forensic science and police investigation are non-existent.
Allu Sirish did the best he could and seems to have improved from his previous outings. Surabhi is good enough as Jo, playing her role with ease. Surprisingly, it is Seerat Kapoor and Srinivas Avasarala who are the stars of 'Okka Kshanam'; breathing life into their roles. The cinematography by Shyam K Naidu also deserves a mention for saving the day. With a more focused and crisper storyline, devoid of laggy parts, 'Okka Kshanam' could've truly been something else.
Give this one a chance if you're bored this weekend, because it is not completely unwatchable either and deserves appreciation just for the attempt. Just leave behind your brains at home for this one!