Lucia (film)

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Lucia kannada film poster1.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPawan Kumar
Produced byAudience films
Home Talkies
Written byPawan Kumar
Screenplay byPawan Kumar
StarringSathish Ninasam
Sruthi Hariharan
Achyuth Kumar
Rishab Shetty
Music byPoornachandra Tejaswi
Background music:
Poornachandra Tejaswi
Monish Kumar M. K.
Santhosh Narayanan
CinematographySiddhartha Nuni
Edited bySanath–Suresh
Pawan Kumar
Audience films
Distributed byHome Talkies
Release date
Budget50 lakh (US$70,000)[1]
Box office3.6 crore (US$500,000)

Lucia is a 2013 Indian Kannada-language psychological thriller film written, co-edited and directed by Pawan Kumar.[2] It stars Sathish Ninasam and Sruthi Hariharan.[3]

The film's plot is about Nikki, an usher in theatre who has insomnia. After consuming a special pill, he gets entangled in a different kind of dream. Lucia was the first Kannada film to be crowdfunded by the people which created a trend. The film's soundtrack was composed by Poornachandra Tejaswi and cinematography was handled by Siddhartha Nuni.

Lucia premiered at the London Indian Film Festival on 20 July 2013.[4][5] It won the Best Film Audience Choice award at the festival.[6]

It was also among the films shortlisted by the FFI to become India's submission for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for the year 2013. The film was also remade in Tamil as Enakkul Oruvan in 2015. The movie was credited for inspiring a new wave in the Kannada film industry.[7]


There are two main roles, one that is played out in the dream, and the other one, in reality, called respectively Nikhil and Nikki.[8] The plot starts with the protagonist being in a state of coma and continuing only on life support. The film, from the beginning, tells two stories of the same person, one in colour and the other in black and white.[9]

Sanjay, a detective from the Mumbai police Crime Branch starts investigating the incident that caused the protagonist's (Sathish Ninasam) current state. While Sanjay is going through the protagonist's belongings he stumbles upon some scribbled notes and a mysterious pill. Meanwhile, the police capture two suspects and interrogate them.

The story starts with Nikki in a village near Mandya, working as an usher/"torch-shiner" in a Bengaluru movie theatre owned by Shankranna (Achyuth Kumar). Nikki has insomnia and yearns for a companion. On one of his sleepless nights, Nikki is contacted by a drug dealer who gives him Lucia pills as a solution to his sleeping problems. This drug is said to have the capacity to help one dream the life they want but has the side-effect that upon discontinuation the same dreams turn into nightmares.

With the help of the Lucia pills, Nikki starts seeing himself as being a successful actor called Nikhil surrounded by people he knows in the real world. Film actor Nikhil's life is depicted in black-and-white. Shankranna, the owner of the theater where Nikki works, had starred in a film in his youth funded by the leader of some goons who now want Shankranna to sign off his theatre for his debt. More events from the dream are followed by similar events in reality as Nikki falls in love with Shwetha (Sruthi Hariharan) who is a model in the dream and a waitress in reality.

In the dream, Nikhil and Shwetha hit it off easily at the beginning but later friction arises when Nikhil expresses his discontent about Shwetha working in the film industry. Meanwhile, in reality, Nikki struggles to win Shwetha's heart, who rejects him first due to his low salary but later falls for his humble character. Shwetha's attempts to get Nikki educated and lead him to find a better paying job turns out to be futile and also result in the death of Shankranna in the hands of goons. Frustrated, Nikki chooses to leave Shwetha and continue to work in the theatre, despite the threats. Nikki redecorates the theatre and releases Shankranna's film to the audience. He later reconciles with Shwetha, who agrees to marry him.

In the dream, Shankranna is kidnapped, and Nikhil rescues him with the help of the police. In the process, all of the goons are either arrested or killed except for the contract killer. Nikhil feels Shankranna is not safe with him and decides to fire him. Nikhil breaks up with Shwetha and sends off all his servants so as to be alone. Later, a visibly disturbed Nikhil finds himself in a trashed room. Nikhil gets hold of a torch and through its light sees his life as a "torch-shiner" projected on the walls of the room.

Shwetha is now distraught with being in the limelight and understands what Nikhil had tried to tell her. Nikhil, the actor, meets Shwetha and tells her that he cannot decide if the present moment is a dream or reality but he is ultimately happy. Asking Shwetha to close her eyes, Nikhil jumps off the roof to the confusion of everyone present, including the contract killer waiting to kill him.

At present, Sanjay with the help of the suspects performs a sting operation on the drug dealer and learns more about the Lucia pills. Meanwhile, Shwetha is caught in an attempt to kill Nikhil by pulling him off life support. During her interrogation, the whole investigating team along with Shwetha watches a re-run of an interview of the film star Nikhil. In the interview, Nikhil expresses his dissatisfaction of the stardom and reveals that he is actually color blind from an accident in his childhood. He tells the interviewer that he dreams of being a normal person and in fact, in one of his dreams he is a "torch-shiner" who gets no attention from people and is happily in love with the dream of his life. It also revealed that Nikhil and Nikki both had insomnia and both consumed the Lucia pill.

Sanjay is now convinced that Nikhil is living in his own version of reality and chose to live in that dream rather than in the real world by attempting suicide. Sanjay gets Shwetha to act and behave like she was in Nikhil's dream, and acts himself as if he was a contract killer and shoots the comatose Nikhil in the head with an empty gun. Simultaneously, Nikhil, aware and alive in his dream world finds everything disappearing around him and is killed by a shot to the head. Nikhi wakes up from his coma to see the astonished doctors and Shwetha's relieved face. Thus, revealing that the character Nikki was an illusion whereas Nikhil was reality.

At the end, we can see Nikhil, Swetha and Shankaranna (who was dead in Nikhil's dream) enjoying pizza (Swetha worked as pizza waitress in Nikhil's dream) while they operate the projector of an old theater. Thus revealing that it was film star Nikhil's dream to be a commoner like Nikki, and he achieved it through Lucid dreams.



In December 2011 Pawan Kumar announced on the Web that his next project, after the success of his directorial debut film Lifeu Ishtene, was going to be Lucia. For the next two months, he met quite a few producers and top actors and found it difficult to fund his film. That led Pawan Kumar to write a post titled Making Enemies on his blog. Three days after it was published, the response was so overwhelming that he decided to pitch the idea of inviting people to produce the film and Pawan Kumar initiated Project Lucia.[10][11] Lucia is notable for its use of crowdfunding. It was funded by 110 investors who contributed to the project through a Facebook page and a blog run by director-actor Pawan Kumar. It was the first Kannada movie to bypass the traditional film financing model.[12] The director initially offered the lead role to model turned actor Diganth but he was later replaced by Sathish Ninasam, who has played supporting roles in many Kannada films.[13] Lucia was made at a budget of 0.50 crore (US$70,000).[1] Kannada language television channel Udaya TV bought the satellite rights of the film for 0.95 crore (US$130,000).[14] Actor Sathish Ninasam along with the music director Poornachandra Tejaswi visited colleges in Davangere to promote Lucia.[15]


Lucia audio.jpeg
Soundtrack cover
Soundtrack album by
Released10 June 2013 (2013-06-10)
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelAnand Audio

The music for the film and soundtracks were composed by debutant Poornachandra Tejaswi, and background score composed by Poornachandra Tejaswi, Monish Kumar M.K. and Santhosh Narayanan. The lyrics were penned by Poornachandra Tejaswi, Yogaraj Bhat and Raghu Shastri.[16] The album has seven tracks.[17]

Track listing
1."Thinbedakami 1"Poornachandra TejaswiPoornachandra TejaswiPoornachandra Tejaswi, Arun M. C., Bappi Blossom3:55
2."Nee Thoreda Galigeyali"Raghu ShastriPoornachandra TejaswiUdith Haritas, Ananya Bhat4:19
3."Jamma Jamma"Poornachandra TejaswiPoornachandra TejaswiNaveen Sajju4:13
4."Yako Barlilla"Poornachandra TejaswiPoornachandra TejaswiNaveen Sajju4:13
5."Helu Shiva"Yogaraj BhatPoornachandra TejaswiNaveen Sajju, Yogaraj Bhat, Rakshith Nagarle4:01
6."Jamma Jamma Patho"Poornachandra TejaswiPoornachandra TejaswiNaveen Sajju3:03
7."Thinbedakami 2"Poornachandra TejaswiPoornachandra TejaswiSangeetha Rajeev, Nithin Acharya, Sparsha R. K.3:56
Total length:27:40


The trailer of Lucia was released in February 2013, with the film releasing on 6 September 2013.[18] PVR released the film on 6 September 2013 under their "Director’s Rare" category all over India. It was released across Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Delhi with English subtitles.[19] Lucia was also set to be released in Pakistan.[20][21]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Times of India3/5 stars[22]
Wogma3.5/5 stars[23]
Deccan Herald3.5/5 stars[24]

The critics praised the film.[25] Anurag Kashyap tweeted "My birthday gift to myself would be lucia...".[26] Actor Siddharth was "blown away" after watching the movie. He immediately called the director Pawan Kumar and praised him. Lucia was also in the race for India's official entry to the Oscars.[27]

The movie received positive reviews from critics. Well, known critic Baradwaj Rangan remarked, "An entertaining new Kannada film pushes the envelope even as it pays homage to the old way of doing things".[28] Bookmyshow website said it is a landmark film for Indian cinema.[29] Tribune praised the film story.[30] The Hindu stated that Lucia is a new type of Kannada film.[31][32]

Box office[edit]

Lucia earned 0.95 crore (US$130,000) in satellite rights and 3.06 crore (US$430,000) in ticket sales through its entire run in cinemas, far surpassing its production budget of around 0.50 crore (US$70,000). Lucia was also released by PVR Pictures in some cinemas outside Karnataka, fetching around 8 lakh (US$11,000) from 13 screens in the first three days.


Karnataka State Film Awards 2013
61st Filmfare Awards South[33]
London Indian Film Festival 2013
Karnataka International Music Awards
  • Best Background Score — Poornachandra Tejaswi, Monish Kumar M. K., Santhosh Narayanan
3rd South Indian International Movie Awards[36]
  • Best Cinematographer — Siddhartha Nuni (Nominated)
  • Best Director - Pawan Kumar

Influences and cultural references[edit]

Director Pawan Kumar admitted to have taken influence from Christopher Nolan and David Lynch.[37] The dream and real sequences being shot in monochrome and in color to differentiate between the two stories, like the Memento and Open Your Eyes to alternate between two plot-lines. The movie's relation with dream and reality and the interrelation between the two. There is also a scene where Nolan's movie Following is seen playing on a TV screen. Requiem for a Dream is also seen playing on a TV in the same scene which is also an influence as the movie deals with addiction.[38] Apart from the cinematic influences, the theme of dream and illusion is also shown as an influence of the poem Nee Mayeyolago by Kanaka Dasa which is quoted at the beginning of the movie. The poem is also partially contained in the lyrics of the song Nee Toreda Galigeyali in the soundtrack.

Home media[edit]

The film was released in Blu-ray, HD DVD, DVD 5.1, VCD Version From Anand Video Studio. It is the first Kannada film to be released in Blu-ray. The director, an advocate of alternative distribution strategies for indie filmmakers, was recently quoted as saying, "It’s time to set up your own virtual movie theaters on the World Wide Web which will be open 24×7 across the globe."[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Khajane, Muralidhara (19 April 2015). "Lucia goes to Pakistan". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 April 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Crowd-funding show gains pace with Kannada movie Lucia, over 100 people invest through Facebook & blog". The Economic Times. 13 April 2013.
  3. ^ Sruthi gets busy – The Times of India
  4. ^ "Lucia to premiere at LIFF". The Indian Express. 2 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Indian Film Festival 2013 – London". britishsouthindians.
  6. ^ "Crowd-funded 'Lucia' wins smash hit 4th edition of LIFF". London Indian Film Festival. Archived from the original on 15 August 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Stranger than fiction". TheHindu. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Sarit Ray's review: Lucia". The Hindustan Times. 8 September 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Swimming Against TheTide : Postnoon
  11. ^ Project Lucia | Pawan Kumar
  12. ^ Gen Y filmmakers home in on crowdfunding - Times Of India
  13. ^ Satish replaces Diganth in Kannada film 'Lucia'
  14. ^ Kannada indie Lucia collects 56 lakhs in its opening weekend |
  15. ^ Satish promotes Lucia in Davangere - The Times of India
  16. ^ "Lucia (2013) songs". Retrieved 21 August 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ "Lucia (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes. Retrieved 20 August 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ Lucia trailer released - The Times of India
  19. ^ Kannada film Lucia to have a nationwide release - Movies
  20. ^ Pawan Kumar's Kannada film 'Lucia' to be released in Pakistan - IBNLive
  21. ^ Lucia to be released in Pakistan? - The Times of India
  22. ^ Lucia movie review: Wallpaper, Story, Trailer at Times of India
  23. ^ Lucia - Review
  24. ^ It's all in the mind
  25. ^ Anurag Kashyap tweets about Lucia - The Times of India
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Kannada films for the Oscars? - The Times of India
  28. ^ Stranger than fiction
  29. ^ Lucia: Film Review
  30. ^ Movie review: Lucia – a pill worth a debate – The Express Tribune
  31. ^ Stranger than fiction - The Hindu
  32. ^ A Shift in Alt Cinema - Indian Express
  33. ^ "61st Idea South Filmfare Awards". 12 July 2014.
  34. ^ Kannada film Lucia wins at London Indian Film Festival - Hindustan Times
  35. ^ PTI (29 July 2013). "Kannada film Lucia wins at London Indian Film Festival". TheHindustan Times. Archived from the original on 24 October 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
  36. ^ "And-the-SIIMA-Awards-go-to". indiatimes. timesofindia. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
  37. ^ "Chasing new frontiers". The Hindu.
  38. ^
  39. ^

External links[edit]