Currency boasts of an unquestionably lofty concept as its premise that’s equally tense and terrifying. That it finally reaches only mid-level of its dreams could be attributed to an all-too-frequent switching of gears between the moving and the mundane.

Keshu (Jayasurya) is a certified flunkee, who has had it to the brim in life with failures. A measly salary from a wretched job under an irksome boss doesn’t help much either. A chance encounter with an equally despondent antique dealer (Mukesh) opens before him an alleyway of crime. Lured by the scent of fake currency notes, Keshu gets ready to put on stake the few things that he can call his own.

Fear is an emotion that has often fascinated filmmakers. Swathi leaves a distinct mark in the very first scene that has Keshu shopping in a frenzy at a mall, only to develop cold feet at the prospects of being exposed when he finally reaches the counter. Terrified, he rushes out and seeks refuge in a bleak manor where he sets fire to the counterfeit currency in his hands – a remarkable scene that sets the ball rolling in a film that’s as much about the crime as it is about the mind that devises it.

Sadly, it doesn’t work out as well all the time. The been-there-done-that vibe that creeps up occasionally never really lets the viewer into the midst of the angst that the basic tale propagates. I wouldn’t brand them clichés as such, but there are plenty of instances in the entirety of the film that could give you that familiar feel. If you do tend to overlook several of those, it’s because Swathi proves himself a better director than a scenarist.

There’s little doubt that Currency eventually fares best in its opening hour, with its lead actor’s extremely magnetic and personable performance proving triumphant at arresting and sustaining the viewer’s interest. I for one, have never been a fierce admirer of Jayasurya, the actor. Barring a couple of odd occasions when he had left a charming impression, there has been little about him that has stayed behind in my mind when I think of him. Currency however is to Jayasurya, as the Bourne trilogy is to Matt Damon. He finally gets a chance to affirm that he could be a definite talent to be reckoned with, with the right plot at hand and the right director at the helm.

The almost unsettling BGM that Mohan Sitara comes up with, is as much a part of the psychological collapse that Keshu goes through, as the real-time environment around him. Not even once overpowering, it brilliantly gels with the flow of affairs and literally lets us into the trauma that the youngster tries to come to terms with.

There are a couple of songs though, that sound like a hoard of toads going for it at the height of a flu. They are quite bizarrely picturised as well, with large doses of skin on show. Quite despicable choreography puts in that extra bit of outlandishness to the scene.

Currency is an almost well made film that gets most of its cards right. Above everything else it marks the unveiling of a directorial flair that should hopefully be behind several admirable cinematic creations in the future.

Banner:    Indostar Movie Magic
Cast:    Jayasuriya, Mukesh, Kalabhavan Mani, Meera Nandhan
Direction:    Swathy Bhaskar
Music:    Siddharth Bipin

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