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Times of India
A Booker prize-winning Malayali writer visits her home state, Kerala, only to be flooded with haunting questions about her past and intense themes in her work at a press conference. She takes a trip to her ancestral house and delves into memories of her family.
If its chills, thrills and a captivating storyline that one expects from a tantric fantasy flick, the Suresh Gopi-starrer Rudra Simhasanam, sadly, offers none. It teems with campy elements of M-Town's cliched horror flicks - an eerie looking mana with a host of dubious characters, a sarppakkavu, curses that have cascaded down generations, saintly figures, black magicians and a few other characters who despise them all and hence break all hell loose to lead us into the story.
Manavathoor Kovilakam is tormented by one disaster after another, and its heir-apparent Haimavathy thamburatti lives amid characters who are scheming to get rid of her and own the property. Rudra Simhan, a tantric expert who is widely revered and feared, reaches the kovilakam to help her and she develops feelings for him. The movie unfolds as a flashback of her memories about her ancestral home.
Recreating the magical moments and larger-than-life characters of a fantasy novel on screen is no cakewalk, and it takes brilliant coordination by several creative heads to get in right. If anyone has found some ground in Rudra Simhasanam, it's the art direction guys.
The film emits a few rays of hope in its initial reels as far as narration is concerned, but goes wayward enough to bore the viewers as it inches ahead. Most dialogues, acting and even gestures are too theatrical for today's audience.
The roles of actors are largely limited to dressing up like characters from a witchcraft story, giving dramatic expressions and mouthing tasteless and complicated dialogues. While Suresh Gopi is touted as the lead, he hardly has an impressive screen space and Sudheer Karamana's black magician avatar comes across as funny rather than scary. To top it all, the team tries too hard to generate fear through second-grade background score and slow-paced frames.
In short, Rudra Simhasanam suffers from a serious dearth of anything that's even mildly engaging.