Every year Tamil cinema is flooded by films made on shoestring budgets. Out of which only a handful of them have the prowess to garner the attention of the audience. Rest leaves the theaters unnoticed. Bestie belongs to the latter class. The film is about a couple who go on a date to a beach resort where they start to experience eerie things. Actor Ashok Kumar who was last seen in the thriller drama Vidiyatha Iravondru Vendum is back on screens with his horror thriller film Bestie. Actress Yashika Aannand has essayed the female lead role. Director Ranga has helmed the drama. So, how has the horror thriller Bestie come out? Is it solid enough to help build a bankable lead hero heroine image for actors Ashok Kumar and Yashika Aannand in Tamil cinema? To know that let us get into the movie review.
The movie revolves around a series of repetitive events that take place in a secluded beach resort. Bestie opens in a typical horror drama-esque style where we witness a young couple Ashok (Ashok Kumar) and Yashika (Yashika Aannand) arriving at a remote resort close to a beach. Once in the resort Ashok attempts to get intimate with Yashika. But whenever he makes his move, some sort of disturbance in the form of the watchman of the resort, or an electrician, or a courier guy keeps getting in their way.
Soon they begin to experience strange and spooky things. While we are contemplating the presence of ghosts, director Ranga in the pretext of a twist presents us a theory. We witness Ashok and Yashika being struck in a car accident. We are told that all the events that transpired are mere dreams of Ashok who is trapped post the accident. All these events repeat from the beginning with slight amendments here and there. What is happening in the resort, is there a play of the supernatural forces, and what will happen to Ashok and Yashika, is what makes the rest of the flick.
Writing a film involves two key practices conceptualizing and discussing. Coming up with an idea and then putting it to discussion with the associates and assistant directors. This process could aid in someone pointing to the flaws in the script and waking the maker to reality. But some filmmakers are so arrogant about their material that they skip this process. Bestie seems to be made by one such film maker. It is either that or the associates and assistants that the director discussed the story with are equally arrogant. Bestie reeks of mediocrity on all fronts. It is just another low budget disaster of Tamil cinema that is made merely to burn some money without a real purpose. Director Ranga opens Bestie in a horror tone and fills the first half with the template horror scenes that do not even give us jump scares. Let alone the thrills.
In the second half, with revealing the ineffective twist that the whole events of the first half were just a dream of the hero, he makes the audience too grim. To top it off, he deploys what sort of seems like a time loop concept. The events keep repeating repeatedly with few changes every time they repeat. These events are so unimaginative, and unfold in an uninteresting fashion making Bestie a real patience tester that has no mercy on its audience. Just when we cannot care any less about the proceedings, abruptly, director Ranga deserts the horror angle and propels the flick into an even more tedious revenge tale. If this transition had culminated to a solid entertainment at the end like Karthik Subbaraj’s Pizza, we would not have had any qualms. But it has not. So, why begin it as a horror film in the first place? By this point we find it difficult to figure out whether to laugh or be annoyed at ourselves for booking the ticket to Bestie.
Almost every artist in the flick seems to be clueless about what they are doing. Actor Ashok Kumar tries desperately to make an impact as a performer. But he just comes across as a kid in a fancy-dress competition trying to look different than its peers. Actress Yashika Aannand’s performance is unintentionally funny. Her effort to perform is the most entertaining aspect in watching Bestie. Actors Vasu Vikram, Bayilvan Ranganathan, Sathyan, Charmila, and Ambani Shankar are middling in their performance. Comedians Lollu Sabha Maaran, Lollu Sabha Seshu, and Lollu Sabha Jeeva achieve the contrary to why they were brought on board. They are unswervingly irksome. The rest of the cast has delivered a middling performance.
On the technical front, music director J V’s songs are so awful that they would even make the audience that do not have the habit of going on a break when songs play, leave their seat. Cinematographer R Anand’s camera work has a repulsive effect on us making things as difficult as possible to sit through the drama. Editor Ram Gopi has done a lethargic job. Perhaps, he thought this level of work is sufficient for a flick like Bestie.
On the whole, horrific writing coupled with below par technical department makes director Ranga’s Bestie a lesson on how not to make a film.