Vanilla: A Compelling Thriller with Social Commentary

Jayathirtha, known for his films like ‘Olave Mandhara’ and ‘Beautiful Manasugalu’, takes a detour from his previous storytelling style to blend sentiment, thrilling elements, and social consciousness in ‘Vanilla’.

In ‘Vanilla’, Avinash, a mechanical engineer, returns to his village during his break. Here, he meets his school friend Anagha, an environmental science student. A chance meeting soon turns serious as Avinash finds himself saving Anagha from a murder scene on a rainy night. As Avinash discovers Anagha’s rare disease, Cacknophobia – an allergy to smoke and shock, he is convinced that she is innocent.

The plot thickens as Avinash finds himself under police scrutiny and the investigation reveals surprising facts. Unbeknownst to him, a drug lord has created havoc in Anagha’s life. The cause being Anagha’s brother, Pandu, uncovering the drug ‘Acetal’ in the popular Vanilla cigarettes on the college campus.

Avinash delivers an impressive debut performance while Swathi Konde portrays her complex character effectively. The ensemble cast, including Ravishanker Gowda, Rehaman, Pavan, Giri, and Nanda, also add value to the film.

‘Vanilla’ blends murder mystery with a critique of drug culture, unraveling the interconnected narratives in a climactic conclusion. The film’s music, scored by BJ Bharath, complements the story well and Kiran Hampapura’s cinematography adds a visual appeal, although the screening quality could be improved.

With a runtime of 117 minutes, ‘Vanilla’ provides a thrilling watch for both adult and young viewers. The film’s layered storytelling and societal commentary make it a commendable watch.

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