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You cannot say that director Shyamaprasad has taken a complete U turn from his” normal genre”. Yes in terms of budget and making style Ivide is quite different from how he present things but still the signature narrative of the director is evident in the way this movie has been presented.
The film is stylish and stands out with its richness in overall feel and visualization but the substance has not much depth to support the technical aspects. You cannot call the film a complete investigative thriller. Yes an investigation is happening with a multilayer structure in storytelling but from an overall perspective, Ivide is more of an investigative drama than a thriller that moves at a snail pace making it lag on many places.
Set in the United States, Atlanta to be precise, there is a series of murders happening. The interesting thing here is that all the victims happen to be immigrant Indians working in the IT field. Varun Blake is in charge of the investigation. On the parallel side, we have Krish Hebbar who is the would be CEO of Infotec, an Indian outsourcing company in the US whose major client is Cardgill Solutions. Now all the investigation connected with the murder and the happenings in the IT company form the major chunk of the plot of Ivide scripted by Ajayan Venugopal.
Nothing much happen in the first hour or so. The second half does get liveliness but the overall slowness in the pace and lack of a solid story is a factor that puts the film on the back foot. Audience expecting a stylish and fast paced thriller would be a disappointed lot since the film is entirely different from that.
The movie is completely shot in US and all the people talk English. There is only little use of our local language but the subtitles are added with a mention of the same in the beginning title credits. No complaints about that.
Direction wise, Shyamaprasad retain the way he makes his movies here too without much deviation. Of course the canvas is bigger here with a commercial angle thrown into it. But still it is a Shyamaprasad style of narration of a crime and violence story which should be something new. You can say his earlier flick Ritu which also has somewhat a close resemblance of the IT backdrop is a distant cousin of Ivide.
It is the technical aspects that score and stand apart in the film. With rich and appealing production design, synchronized dubbing, cinematography and art, Ivide looks sleek and stylish.
Performance wise, Prithviraj as expected deliver a clean act as Varun Blake who is an American citizen who left India at the age of six. His English accent justifying his stay in the US deserves a special mention. Nivin Pauly is Krish Hebbar the IT professional and nothing to complain about his acting too. Bhavna as Roshni Mathews was okay while Prakash Bare along with the foreign actors supported the main cast.
In a nutshell, I would say Ivide is not up to my expectation but still a watchable average film. But do not expect a speedy thriller with lot of twists in the tale. It is a slow paced Investigative drama that takes time to settle down and moves all along on a same level till the end with lagness. My rating is two and a half out of five.