What’s it about?
A con artist Aditya (Nithin) is sent to jail for a life sentence after his involvement in a bomb blast that killed 40 people. Saying that he had no connection with the terrorist group that planned bomb blasts, he seeks a lawyer to fight for him. Younger lawyer Manasa (Rakul Preet Singh) reluctantly takes up his case. She soon learns Aditya’s version of what had happened, why his girlfriend Yatra (Priya Varrier) disappeared suddenly.
Years pass. Aditya is inborn talent at chess games. In prison, a fellow inmate (Sai Chand) believes that Aditya would become grandmaster if he plays at the national and international competitions. Seeing it as a chance to get a presidential pardon, Aditya seriously takes up the game. Will he be granted a pardon?
Director Chandrasekhar Yeleti, highly regarded for his earlier brilliant work like ‘Aithey’, must have felt of tweaking ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ in his style. Nothing wrong with that. The majority of our filmmakers get inspired by the works of classics or other masters. Yeleti does the same. He placed the basic plot of ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ in the backdrop of a chess game, and dressed it with elements of Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Prestige’.
Yeleti, however, has failed to add any wow factor to this mix. Thus it becomes a bland version of those films. In ‘Redemption’, we hear philosophical lines. Here, the Sanskrit slokas are used.
I have no issue with his inspired ideas, but the narration is a problem here. The film begins well and engages us with the early sequences of Aditya’s life. But as the story moves on further with predictable jail situations are thrown, the problems start to begin. The jail scenes are completely clichéd. The second half and the chess games fail to provide any thrills.
The twist also lacks believability.
Coming to performances, Nithin and Sai Chand both deserve accolades. Nithin has put in sincere effort to shoulder the movie. There is a marked difference in his acting style which is good. Sai Chand is continuously getting worthy roles and he is shining in them. Rakul has played a part that is far away from the clichéd heroine roles that she generally gets. She is good at that. Priya appears in a guest character. Sampath Raj’s role is written poorly.
The film has the best production design. The jail set looks real. The background score by Kalyani Malik is effective. The work of the cinematographer needs special mention.
Bottom-line: ‘Check’ is a poor copy of Hollywood films like ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ and ‘The Prestige’. It begins well but turns too bland after a while. The implausible climax mars it further.
By: Jalapathy Gudelli
Cast: Nithin, Rakul Preet Singh, Priya Varrier
Music: Kalyani Malik
Cinematography: Rahul Shrivastav
Editor: Sanal Anirudhanl
Producer: V Ananda Prasad
Written and directed by: Chandra Sekhar Yeleti
Release Date: Feb 26, 2021