Only Few Engaging Pages
U/A, 2h 17m
What Is the Film About?
Siddhu (Nikhil Siddhartha) is a technology addict with no time for real emotions except love. He treats people with disdain. The movie’s story is about what happens when Siddhu accidentally stumbles upon Nandini’s (Anupama Parameswaran) dairy post break up.
How the dairy changes Siddhu’s life? Who is Nandini, and what happens to Siddhu and Nandini at the end is the overall story.
Nikhil picks up a role that is relatable and in his zone. The styling and presentation are on the spot. He has done well as an actor in casual as well as dramatic moments with confidence.
While the act is fine, and there is nothing to complain about, at the same time, it lacks the memorable quality that makes the act special or remembered for the time to come. What’s needed here usually comes with age and experience when someone is focused, and it’s visible amply in the actor.
Anupama Parameswaran gets a simple role that flows flatly. The writing and her act don’t let the character impress as it should. It is a good role to take, but one that simultaneously doesn’t do much. It is not a knock on her, but the whole thing could have had a more significant impact if done well. The fault here doesn’t lie with her, though.
Palnati Surya Pratap of Current and Kumari 21F fame directs 18 Pages with the story provided by Sukumar. Like all the writings of Sukumar, 18 Pages, too, offers a different premise and theme that is pertinent to the time it’s set in.
18 Pages may be written by the female lead, but the entire emotions are felt by the male lead. Right from the start, it is the character of the hero that is central to the proceedings. He is addicted to technology; he doesn’t care about the people around him. He loves a girl and then breaks up when he finds out the truth.
Again, the hero stumbles on the dairy and follows the story or rather the incidents in it that slowly change his perspective. He finally becomes a new person by the end.
If that is how 18 Pages is to be seen, then the purpose is served. But that is not the case here. 18 Pages is supposedly a love story between two individuals without meeting each other. It is here that the movie falters. The love story doesn’t click, and it isn’t a new idea, either.
People falling for each other without directly meeting has been a trendsetting plot in the past. We have a few notable movies on the same theme. What 18 Pages does is upgrade it to the present times with the social media, technology-connected generation.
The female lead here is designed like an angel who does all good and lives the charms of day-to-day life through human interactions. She despises the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram etc. While this is a good characterisation, it, unfortunately, doesn’t reflect that way.
The writing and situations are to be blamed here. We know Nandini’s character is correct, but we are not emotionally invested or engaged with her track. The audience doesn’t feel the feelings that Siddhu develops and remains a mere spectator.
The first half is still fine, as things are only building up, and there is a good emotional block involving a subplot of grandfather.
The second half takes a dreary approach, and while it is not dull, there is a lot of sluggishness. Ultimately things lead to Nandini’s core problem. What we get here is a very routine and done-to-death issue.
There is a shift in tone further as the hero starts an investigation to find the truth. It dilutes the theme and feels like a detour.
The emotional moments arrive only in parts, and some sequences are rushed to reach a predictable end. The organic, emotional feeling is missing when the ultimate moment comes. Its impact is not at the level that is intended.
Overall, 18 Pages has a novel theme for the current times, but the core drama falls flat, and the love story doesn’t hit the sweet spot. It has blocks that work but misses the punch on the whole. If you like to see something different, give 18 Pages a try, but keep the expectations in check.
Performances by Others Actors
The film has limited artists apart from the two main leads. We have the likes of Ajay, Brahmaji, Posani Krishna Murali etc., known faces. They are adequate and do the necessary. The female supporting artist, besides the hero, Bhagi, is decent.
Music and Other Departments?
Gopi Sundar’s music is pleasant and an asset to the movie. It helps set the mood, which is further aided by the background score. A Vasanth’s cinematography is alright. It is impressive if you look at the budget and scope here. Navin Nooli’s editing is fine. The writing could have been better sometimes, but it is generally okay. The few emotional dialogues related to the subplot theme of giving time have come out well.
Basic Story Line
Theme Of Human Emotions
Parts Of The Second Half
The Heroine Track’s Core Problem
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, but with reservations
18 Pages has a novel plot for the current times, but it doesn’t entirely deliver on the promise of the premise. It takes a moody approach and mixes it with routine bits making an unsatisfactory viewing. It works in parts.
First Half Report:
18 Pages offers a unique premise with good leads, but the combination of sluggish pace and lack of genuine magical moments withhold the impact. The second half is key now to see how things evolve and deliver the much-needed push.
— 18 Pages show started with the breakup story of Siddhu ( Nikhil ).
— 18 Pages starting shortly. Stay tuned for the U.S. Premiere report.
Cast: Nikhil Siddhartha & Anupama Parameswaran
Banner name: GA2 Pictures & Sukumar Writings
Presenter – Allu Aravind
Producers: Bunny Vas
Story & Screenplay: Sukumar
Director: Palnati Surya Pratap
Music Director: Gopi Sundar
18 Pages Movie Review by Mirchi9