Film: Odela Railway Station (Streaming on aha). Duration: 90 minutes.
Director: Ashok Teja. Cast: Hebba Patel, Vasishta N. Simha, Sai Ronak, Surendar Reddy and Pujita Ponnada.
IANS Rating: ***1/2
'Odela Railway Station', the latest Telugu original movie offering on aha OTT platform, is a decent watch. Dipping into real-life happenings, the realistic crime thriller set in a rural milleu maintains the suspense till the climax, without resorting to the worn-out cliches normally associated with the genre.
The story line is simple and straightforward. Odela, a small town in Telangana, is rocked by a series of rape-murders of newly-wed brides. The story begins at the railway station, where a woman, caked in mud, walks down to the police station, her hand clutching the severed head of a man.
The flashback takes the viewer through the events leading up to the climax as seen by a young IPS officer Anudeep (Sai Ronak) who is in town for a three-month field training stint. The identity of the perpetrator remains a mystery, as several potential suspects are found innocent. How the police officer goes beyond the call of duty to nab the criminal, and how Radhika (Hebba Patel) stumbles onto the truth makes up the story.
The cast is well chosen and all of them deliver well on screen. Lead actor Hebba Patel fits in effortlessly into the role of Radhika, the young washerwoman constantly looking down upon her husband Tirupati (Vasishta N Simha) for his drinking habit as well as his apparent inability in bed.
The story skilfully combines various elements like crime, social interactions, sex education, and youthful idealism -- without bordering on the boring.
Ashok Teja, who has helmed the movie, does a good job of it. Without taking recourse to unnecessary gimmicks that are usually the hallmark of suspense-thriller movies of late, the director let's the story play out naturally. Editing too is a crisp affair.
All in all, 'Odela Railway Station' is a well packaged film that should keep viewers sufficiently interested till the end.
The icing on the cake -- expect 'Odela 2' soon.