Movie review: Lucia - a pill worth a debate

Published: September 26, 2013
Lucia - Movie poster. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Lucia - Movie poster. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

With “Lucia”, Indian regional films have touched a milestone. A crowdfunded project released under the PVR Director’s Rare Banner, this Kannada film is radical in its approach.

It is the story of an unassuming torch bearer Nikki (Satish Neenasam) who works in one of the local theatres in the suburb of Bangalore. He leads a mundane life and suffers from insomnia. On one such sleepless night, he saunters out of his crowded shanty and bumps into a street-side drug peddler, who supplies him a magic pill called ‘Lucia’.

The pill, the dealer assures, would not only give him quality sleep, but would also help him in making his dreams come true.

Then begins Nikki’s rollercoaster ride with wild experiences. His ambitions, plans, thoughts and imaginations are all intertwined with his nocturnal dreams.

A one-sided romance brews when Nikki meets a girl through a marriage broker. What follows are scenes of glamorous filmy aura and enchanting songs, including a very snazzy item number. There is a children’s party, a near-death experience and plenty of heartache. But at the core, the film ingrains the importance of faith, friendship and relationship with absolutely no banalities.

Sathish Nenasam, who makes his debut as the lead, is pretty convincing as Nikki. From sentimentality of an ordinary torchbearer to the razzmatazz of a leading actor, he exhibits a wide range of passions. He is well supported by Shruthi Hariharan, who plays the lead opposite him as a simple, practical girl working at a pizza joint.

Achuth as Shankrana, is remarkable. He emotes with such ease and grace that it’s difficult not to compare him with great actors. Also, Nikki’s relationship with Shankrana is so reminiscent of the relationship shared between the film director Salvatore Di Vita and the blind Alfredo in the 1988 released Italian film, “Cinema Paradiso”.

Apart from the acting, it is the songs that are attention-grabbing. The item number “Jamma, Jamma” is catchy and the song whose lyrics are, “In the sky a broken moona” is mellifluous.

Made at a modest budget of Rs.50 lakh, funded by 110 investors, the production quality of this film is brilliant. The camera work of cinematographer Siddharth Nuni camouflages all the shortcomings and makes a wonderful visual display of the subjects with the 5D camera. The background score by Poornachandra Tejaswi too is exceptionally first rate.

What adds to the complexity of this tale is how the film is mounted. Narrated in a non-linear manner with parallel editing, the story telling gets a bit complicated even when there is a clear demarcation of reality shots in colour and hallucination shots in black and white. Confusion arises when the points of view get overlapped and logic is questioned.

While writer-director Pawan Kumar has made a brave attempt in the presentation of this simple tale, he has force-fed too many subjects like euthanasia, the philosophy of drug marketing, family issues…making the subject loaded and unnecessarily preachy.

Nevertheless, at the end of it, the film which begins with an intriguing and confusing plot, settles down evenly. It’s worth a watch for it arouses your attention and provokes you to debate.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Mahesh
    Sep 26, 2013 - 11:57AM

    WoW!! Thank you ET. Near thought kannada moview will be reviewed on your paper. Thank you so much..


  • Manju
    Sep 26, 2013 - 4:54PM

    A regional movie of my mother tongue Kannada in a Pakistani newspaper! That’s surprising… Too surprising because not even the people of neighbouring states of Karnataka would have known about this movie let alone an alien land called Pakistan… Veena Malik is familiar in the state though… For all her histrionic reasons off course… :-)


  • Sep 26, 2013 - 5:50PM

    Thats surprise. Couldn’t believe that kannada film review will come up in a pakistani news website. Good work.


  • gift
    Sep 26, 2013 - 8:58PM

    watch adaminte makan abu, with subs, award winning movie.


    Sep 27, 2013 - 1:57AM

    It is a refreshing thing to read about something from India beyond Chandigarh and Delhi in ET. Really you are trying to go out of your comfort zone. I appreciate your work. Keep it up!


  • Malatesh
    Sep 27, 2013 - 9:55AM

    I love sandalwood movies. Thank you ET for your review on south Indian movie.


  • Poornachandra Thejaswi
    Sep 27, 2013 - 3:20PM

    Thank you. Today movie is released online. Interested can watch throughout the world. Chevk this


  • jayanth
    Sep 27, 2013 - 3:31PM

    Tribune nice to see such a nice write up for a Kannada movie, its a movie very well made and excels in all departments, wish the movie had a larger audience.


  • Guddappa
    Sep 27, 2013 - 6:29PM

    Thank you Tribune for writing up the review, we are eagerly waiting for it to watch here in Australia. Movie is made out with help of many investors around the world and movie is seems to be so good. And movie is also released on line. so many new things happening with this movie………..proud of Sandalwood.


  • Raveendra Bhat
    Sep 27, 2013 - 6:47PM

    You can watch this movie online now. Watch it here:


  • MSF
    Sep 27, 2013 - 10:54PM

    Surprise ! More comments from my state in pak website !


  • Ajay
    Sep 28, 2013 - 12:27AM

    Thanks for appreciating the gud piece of art…beyond the barriers of country.
    V.happy to read this review. :)


  • Dhananjaya H
    Sep 28, 2013 - 12:36AM

    It is very nice to see kannada movie review in your website. Thanks for that.


  • prasanna
    Sep 28, 2013 - 4:00PM

    hey its great that our kannada movie got such response hats off to team


  • Kiran
    Sep 28, 2013 - 4:04PM

    I just watched it in Bangalore, during a visit to my hometown. Incredible camera work. Great production. Gripping tale. Sixth Sensish, with local kannada touch. I am still reeling at the enormity of the production who have pulled this off at a budget of $110,000.
    Thank You ET for reviewing this.


  • Sep 29, 2013 - 1:02PM

    Nice to see kannada movies to be reviewed in Pakistani website. This feels us Kannadigas proud. Thank you very much.

    you can watch this movie online:


  • shauri B P
    Sep 29, 2013 - 6:47PM

    Its great to know that the Pak’s leading daily writes about OUR GREAT LAND KARNATAKA’S FILM………………KANNADA IS GREAT…………U TOO…………….THANKS A LOT ET. JAI KANNADAMBE


  • cyon
    Sep 30, 2013 - 8:51PM

    great surprise..


  • Preetham
    Oct 6, 2013 - 12:55PM

    We ve all appreciated movies like Inception, Departed, Remember Me, Breaking Bad, and now Lucia gets included in the list because of its near to perfect approach Concept. !!!
    A very well made and directed movie definitely deserves appreciation much more !!! Cheers..


  • raj
    Oct 8, 2013 - 3:53AM
  • sandesh
    Oct 14, 2013 - 9:12AM

    Nice Review. Nice to see review of a Kannada movie on Pakistani news portal


  • raj
    Oct 23, 2013 - 4:54PM

    Never thought a kannada movie would be reviewed/discussed in pakistani media. feels nice..
    Sub continent is treasure of artistic creativity and expressions. We need to recognize diverse forms and appreciate it.


  • karthikawe
    Oct 27, 2013 - 3:44PM

    Awesome !!


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