Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Priya Bhavani Shankar, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Prachi Desai
Pasupathy, Ravindra Vijay, Tharun Bhascker, Rohini, Anish Kuruvilla, Tanikella Bharani
Eeshwari Rao, Raja Goutham
Director: Vikram K Kumar
Producers: Sharrath Marar
Music Director: Ishaan Chhabra
Cinematographer: Mikolaj Sygula
Editor: Navin Nooli
“Dhootha,” making its OTT debut with Tollywood star Naga Chaitanya, is a series penned and helmed by Vikram K Kumar. It unveils the story of Sagar (Naga Chaitanya), a renowned journalist elevated to the Chief Editor position at the Samachar newspaper. Yet, his elation is short-lived as a series of foretold tragedies disrupt his life, puzzling him with their eerie predictions through newspaper clippings. As Sagar grapples with these unsettling premonitions, the series embarks on a compelling journey, exploring the mystery behind these prophetic messages.
Vikram K Kumar’s narrative prowess shines through in “Dhootha.” While the storyline might bear resemblances to Kumar’s past work like “13B,” his storytelling finesse engages viewers profoundly. The series seamlessly draws audiences in from the very start, employing striking visuals, a gripping background score, and impeccable production design to sustain a pervasive sense of suspense.
The series offers a series of thrilling moments, particularly in the portrayal of various deaths, which keep viewers on edge. Through a multi-layered narrative and a strong ensemble of characters, Vikram K Kumar seamlessly weaves a profound societal message into the storyline, building towards a cohesive resolution.
Naga Chaitanya delivers an impressive performance in his OTT debut, portraying a character with nuanced shades convincingly. Parvathy Thiruvothu’s standout performance, despite initial adjustments required for her dubbing, leaves a lasting impact.
Supporting actors such as Priya Bhavani Shankar, Prachi Desai, Pasupathy, Ravindra Vijay, Tharun Bhascker, among others, contribute solid performances. The series peaks in a climactic episode, unveiling twists against a backdrop of rain, heightening the overall viewing experience.
The flashback segments lack the intended impact and could have been executed more effectively to amplify the series’ intensity. Additionally, a shorter runtime would have bolstered the pacing, especially addressing mid-episode pacing issues. Furthermore, certain profanities might not resonate well with all audience segments.
Ishaan Chhabra’s haunting background score complements the narrative effectively, while Mikolaj Sygula’s cinematography stands out, elevating the visual appeal of the series. However, despite strong production values, improvements in editing could have enhanced the overall cohesiveness.
“Dhootha” emerges as an absorbing mystery thriller, despite a somewhat familiar plot. Vikram K Kumar’s adept direction and layered storytelling ensure an engrossing watch. Stellar performances by the cast and high production standards remain the series’ strong suits. Nonetheless, a tighter narrative with impactful flashbacks would have amplified the viewing experience. Nevertheless, Naga Chaitanya’s portrayal and the series’ technical finesse make it a recommended watch for this weekend.