Amalgamating a science-fiction plot with romance, Adbhutham begins on a shaky note showcasing a young boy and a girl on the verge of committing suicide, not known to each other. Some magnetic field abnormalities weirdly connect their mobile phones, and they start receiving each other’s messages just before they are about to give away their lives. The annoying conversation makes them postpone the suicide, and they begin fighting over the messages and calls, resulting in a new relationship.
Till here, the film strongly gives you a déjà vu kind of feeling as the premise has been a part of several movies of the past wherein the couple talking on the phone gets to meet each other only in the climax. But the scenario changes once the unexpected twist comes in, bringing in the time travel element into the storyline, forcing you to sit straight and pay attention to the on-screen proceedings. The twist is that the two are talking to each other from different times periods at a gap of five years – with the boy living in 2019 and the girl in 2014, realising it after a few days.
The film pulls you in once the time travel narrative begins, but the joyride isn’t as smooth and engaging as it could have been. Directed by Mallik Ram, Adbhutham scores when it focuses on the two timeline sequences connecting the past and the present. These specific portions of the film keep you fairly engrossed and entertained, despite being complex and unrealistic. The dialogues help in explaining the complications, but the music and background score is just okay with a couple of catchy songs in the beginning.
Featuring satisfactory performances from Teja Sajja, Shivani Rajashekar, and the supporting cast, Adbhutham falters with a few forced sequences in the middle, like the one revealing the question papers. The second act of the film remains scattered, and it would have been a thoroughly engaging entertainer with a better screenplay and a shorter duration. Besides, it also falls back to a hurried and routine culmination with nothing equally novel or surprising as its core plot.
Adbhutham begins with a slide, clearly stating that it has been inspired by all the science-fiction stories and movies around the world. The references are there, but the most beautiful reference is of Ramayana, which helps the characters understand the time-travel twist. Still, the film keeps struggling to win over the viewers and becomes an above-average watch, majorly because of its novel plot.
Title: ADBHUTHAM (Telugu)
Cast: Teja Sajja, Shivani Rajasekhar, Satya
Director: Mallik Ram
Platform: Disney+ Hotstar
Rating: 3 stars