Rating: ** 1/2
Ganesh Kamaraj`s "Challenge" is certainly an out of the box movie. It has less commercial elements, but keeps the audience engaged. There are sequences that keep the viewers on the edge of their seats and it also has some enlightening moments.
Despite less focus on comedy, romance and other aspects that have become a staple in commercial cinema, "Challenge" can be watched once.
However, the film has its own flaws like too many flash backs. Dialogues are the film`s strength and weakness.
The film takes a slow start but picks up later with the narrative becoming interesting and it continues to engage you till the climax.
But the climax is not handled well and disappoints the way it concludes. But still Kamaraj has shown enough talent as a director.
In the story, seven people from different background are locked up in a factory along with a leaking cylinder as a result all of them suffer from short term memory loss.
They forget their identities and their effort to go out does not yield results. Once they regain consciousness, they start suspecting each other.
The story reminds one of Hindi suspense thriller "Gumnaam" (1965). But "Challenge" lacks finesse of "Gumnaam", directed by Raja Nawathe. And you do miss the haunting music of Shankar-Jaikishan.
Achyuth Kumar, who has specialised in doing supportive roles, has done a role with grey shades and is superb in the film.
Harish Raj impresses as much as Kalabhavan Mani. All the other artists like Sanjana Singh, Dilip Raj, and Riyaz Khan are impressive.
Despite lack of commercially pleasing elements, "Challenge" is appealing. Watch it.