It takes time to settle down to the tone of Aakashavaani, directed by Ashwin Gangaraju. As a one-liner, it sounds like a grounded slice-of-life drama, something on the lines of Cinema Bandi. Picture this: long after Independence, a kid hailing from a tiny tribal community isolated from the rest of the world stumbles upon a radio set, which the oppressed and uninformed people are quick to accept as God. I would be lying if I said I didn’t find the idea funny, perhaps due to the caricaturish portrayal of tribal communities we have seen in several films in the past, but Ashwin has other plans. Aakashavaani instead opts for a much serious and harsher tone; the focus is entirely on the tyranny inflicted upon the innocent tribals and their subsistence, and it’s a commendable effort with varying results.Running at just over two hours, the screenplay takes time to establish the milieu, its rules, beliefs (one may call superstitions), and the hierarchy. In other words, we get a comprehensive picture of the life and oppressive order that prevails in this lawless, ungoverned land.Aakashavaani 2021 Full Movie Download
Suresh Raghutu’s cinematography, the production design by Mohan and Sandeep, and the sound design by Raghunath Kemisetty play an equally important role in transporting us to this setting.We even understand the fears and faith of these innocent humans; the movement of a light that they deem ‘death star’ indicates the passing away of life and this is later debunked in the climax. The sacrosanct norms the tribals adhere to are so strongly established in the initial act that even when their uprising against the oppressor in the climax is compared to Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu, it doesn’t feel ostentatious.The writing manages to dodge pretentiousness by having a school teacher named Chandram (Samuthirakani, major props for dubbing his dialogues even though the influence of Tamil on the dialect is unavoidable) break the delusions these tribals are fed generation after generation, in a way they can understand – by drawing cues from their own set of beliefs. Does he manage to shatter their reality with a long speech, like Samuthirakani generally tends to? Not really; he rather catalyses them, and I particularly liked that this community goes through a period of disbelief when Chandram tries to mend their belief system.