Right from the first look poster, teasers and other promotional materials, it was clearly evident that the film ‘Lens’ deals with online voyeurism in various forms. Let’s look how the film has come out.
Aravind (Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan) ignores his wife Swathy (Miya Koshal) as he is obsessed with online sex chatting through Skype. One day in the absence of his wife, he gets an invitation for sex chatting , but once he opens the Skype window, he gets to know that it is actually a man named Yohan (Anand Swamy) who cheated him with the identity of a woman.
Yohan tells Aravind that he is going to commit suicide and requests Aravind to watch his death. When Aravind refuses, he threatens to upload the video of Aravind sex chatting with a woman, in YouTube.
Who is Yohan and why does he force Aravind into this peculiar situation. What happens to Yohan and Aravind at the end of this chatting session? Watch the film in theaters to get the answers.
Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan, a debut Independent filmmaker has written and directed this film apart from acting in the role of Aravind. As a director and an actor, he has done something that not many would risk doing, that too in their first film and also emerges successful in his attempt.
‘Lens’ is a must watch for the way it has dealt with the rampant growth and ill effects of online voyeurism with the sensibility and sensitivity that the subject calls for. Without going preachy, the film leaves a telling statement about a looming threat to our private lives in this internet era. Kudos to the director and his team for conveying a much needed message in the form of a gripping film sans any commercial compromises.
For a newcomer, Jayaprakash shows amazing sensitivity in dealing with a subject which is a tight rope walk. This is an unpretentious adult film. But the director has not manipulated the advantages of making an adult film, to tantalize the audience at any instance.
The representation of sexual activities through suggestive shots and blurred images are completely justified by the story. The conviction to not reveal the face of the woman character involved in video sex chatting, despite her presence in quite a few scenes throughout the film, is laudable.
Right from the beginning, you know that this is going to be the story of a victim; a story that involves some sort of revenge or reform; you expect a twist in the characters and you can somewhat predict the twist to the characters; the end may also match with your predictions. But still, ‘Lens’ engages and holds the keen attention of the audience thanks to the gripping narration of Jayaprakash.
The film is not devoid of flaws. The long conversation in the first half may be tiring for a regular commercial movie buff. The budget constraints are evident in many places. The dubbing and lip sync issue are hard to ignore.
In the second half the flashback portion could have been shortened, that too when we already foresee how it is going to end. But still the way the end of the flashback has been portrayed leaves a strong impact about the core subject. The shocking revelations in the last 15-20 minutes of the film enhances the overall impact of the film.
Both Jayaprakash Radhakrishnan and Anand Swamy have done a fairly neat job in the lead roles. But their performance does not cover up the nonavailability of seasoned actors who could have created a much better impact in the same roles.
Newcomer Ashwathy Lal has given a fantastic performance as a speech impaired girl. The way she has carried off a crucial scene in the film deserves special praise. Miya Koshal and all other supporting actors fit the bill.
The hard hitting dialogues written by Jayprakash, especially the ones mouthed by Yohan to confront Aravind lend vital support in conveying the intended message.
G.V. Prakash Kumar has lifted the film’s prospects with his apt background score. The only song ‘Moongil Nila’ is also pleasant to hear. S.R. Kathir’s cinematography is quite impressive with natural lights, novel angles and shots to supplement the narration.
Vetrimaran should be commended for taking all the efforts to release this film, placing his trust on the content and the sensibility of Tamil film audience to accept such bold attempts.
Verdict: Despite its flaws, ‘Lens’ is a film that should be watched by every adult, to be more aware and vigilant about online voyeurism and its ill effects.