What Is the Film About?
Set in the 1970s, in a village Banda Lingampally, all hell breaks loose when a broadcast regarding the falling of a space station Skylab is leaked.
Gauri (Nithya Menen) is a journalist working for Pratibimbam magazine. She truly believes in her profession, but the publication doesn’t. She gets one last opportunity to prove herself; otherwise, she has to get married. Anand (Satyadev) is a doctor who thinks it is easy to make big in a village compared to Hyderabad city.
The movie’s basic plot is how the different aspirations of central characters, Gauri, and Anand are realised in the backdrop of Skylab’s crash.
Nithya Menen is, without any doubt, the main lead of the movie. It is her character that carries the symbolic and thematic Skylab weight directly. First of all, it is good to see the actress on the big screen after a gap. She is lively, as always and has a fabulous screen presence. The dressing and styling further enhance the appeal.
Coming to the performance, she is okay. We have seen her do the talkative, bubbly and charming role before. The difference here is that there is no ‘love’ angle or typical commercial trapping of commercial cinema. She plays herself (or rather the usual) in a realistic and rooted setting.
Coming to Satyadev, somehow he feels off-key here. From the costumes, makeup, and characterisation, there is a half-baked quality to Anand. The end realisation is satisfactory, but the journey is lacklustre, and it reflects in the act. Still, there is a sign of his (slowly developing) trademark style here and there. But, by and large, he is related to the backseat. One must appreciate him if he intended to be a mere character in an ensemble for the sake of the larger picture, though.
Vishwak Khanderao makes his directorial debut with Skylab. It is a difficult film to pull off, and the most significant reason is the wafer-thin storyline.
Skylab, in a nutshell, is about the titular space station that is about to crash land on Earth. The people of Banda Lingampally assume it is in their village, and chaos ensues. We, however, get to this part in the second half of the movie.
After the opening sequence, the entire first half is devoted to the establishment of the character, the setting, and the place. Many characters are part of the narrative, and we see a few of their backstories as the narrative progresses.
The most significant problem with Skylab is the lack of clarity of the tone. It is unclear what is being attempted. If it’s a comedy, definitely it isn’t working or comes across that way. It is why we mentioned at the start that Skylab is a difficult film to pull off.
The writing must be solid, and so does the characterisation to make a compelling narrative. When that is not the case, the result is a tedious and dull tale like we see in the first half of Skylab.
The trailer is also partly misleading as it promotes Skylab, a funny story with quirky characters. We see nothing of that sort in Skylab.
The second half is where one gets into the actual story. The chaos and the ensuing drama that the makers promised happen here. But, more than that, we get clarity on Skylab as a dramedy. There is a coming of age element too in it, which is seen towards the end.
It makes one wonder why Skylab was promoted as a comedy in the first place. Then we realise that the writing is at fault here more than the promotions. The basic concept, the setting and the characters are all there. What is missing is the fun. The attempt at dry humour with a realistic approach hasn’t translated well on screen. In fact, it isn’t felt at all, barring a couple of moments.
The final sequences are when the movie’s first half begins to make sense. The linking and the change brought in certain characters as a direct result of the crash’s impact are well done. Nothing highlights it more than the simple talk sitting on the ‘untouchable’ Dora bed. One only wishes there was more of this (drama) or the comedy (force or otherwise).
Overall, Skylab is an honest attempt where the writing fails to bring the required humour to the tale. We are left with a lifeless setup that is a tiresome watch. The drama makes up for it towards the end, but it’s a little too late in the day. Give it is a try if watching merely a ‘different’ movie is the only prerequisite.
The known faces seen in the movie are Rahul Ramakrishna, Vishnu (comedian), Tanikella Bharani and Tulasi. They play typical characters seen in the village side and do well. The rest of the cast comprises mostly newcomers or unknown faces. They suit the milieu, and that’s about it. Tharun Bhascker, seen in a cameo, is okay.
Music and Other Departments?
The music by Prashant R Vihari is decent. The background score especially is better. It provides the right feel and impetus to the narrative. The cinematography by Aditya Javvadi is acceptable considering the limitations and the attempt to stand out from the crowd making realistic movies. The editing by Ravi Teja Girijala is alright. The writing is where the film falters, undoubtedly.
No Emotional Connection
Tedious Narrative (Due To Weak Writing)
Yet another rewriting of the script would be the only alternative take of the given version, as it had everything (cast, crew) in place perfectly.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Skylab Telugu Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti
After a boring first half, Skylab is slightly better (in parts) in the second half, with the climax being decent. Watch out for our review coming soon.
— The Skylab story that happens in Banda Lingampally comes to end. Final report and review coming soon.
— Writer Gauri ( Nithya Menen ) made up her mind to present villagers last wish before the Skylab falls down. She is capturing their emotional words.
— The people of Banda Lingampalli are worried that a Space station, Skylab, is falling right on their village.
FIRST HALF REPORT:
Despite being an honest attempt, the first half of Skylab is extremely slow and a tedious watch reminiscent of a TV soap opera.
— After a long gap, the Skylab falling issue is back in the story. Nothing happens story wise so-far. Interval.
— Rama Rao ( Rahul Ramakrishna ) is struggling to repay the family debts.
— Dr. Anand ( Satyadev ) is also back in his village. He is planning to start a clinic in the village.
— Gauri ( Nithya Menen ), an aspiring writer/journalist comes back to her village. Gauri is looking for a story in the village to prove her worth as a writer.
— Skylab show started on an interesting note. There is a danger of Skylab (weighs 90,000 kilos) falling down from the Sky. The story begins in a village called Banda Lingampally.
Skylab Telugu movie Review, U.S. Premiere Updates will begin shortly. Stay tuned.
Skylab Telugu Movie Trailer:
Gauri,Anand and Ramarao are some of the many inhabitants of an eccentric village -Banda Lingampally. When the people of Banda lingampally hear that a Space station, Skylab, is falling right on their village, chaos ensues and it doesn’t take long for this tragic turn of events to turn into a comedy.
Genre: Comedy Drama.
Cast & Crew:
Starring – Nithya Menen, Satyadev, Rahul Ramakrishna, Tanikella Bharani, Tharun Bhascker and an ensemble cast.