TALES OF NEW AGE CINEMA: CHAPTER IV

Raajakumara: A Journey Back to Kasturi Nivasa:

Commercial cinemas in South India are majorly concentrated towards mass audience who would love to watch their actor fight with villains along with dance and a bit of humour added to the recipe of the Masala. In Kannada film Industry, we often come across these films which entertain the audience and score both critically and commercially good in the box office. Last year, different genres of films released in Kannada Film Industry and films like Shivalinga, Last Bus, Karva, Dodmane Hudga, Godhi Banna Sadharana Maikattu, Kirik Party were able to make it big both critically and commercially.

Raajakumara is one of those Films which released last week that had all the elements required in a commercial film. Dr. Rajkumar has such huge fan following in Karnataka and naming this film after his screen name was a bold move by Santosh Ananddram. In this film we can see shades of Dr. Rajkumar starrer movie Kasturi Nivasa (1971, Director: B. Dorairaj) as well. In this Film, Siddharth/Appu (portrayed by Punith Rajkumar) is the son of NRI (Potrayed by Sharath Kumar) based in Australia and takes care of his family business and he falls in love with Nandini (Potrayed by Priya Anand). A tragedy brings him back to India and he fights for his family problems and lift the pride of his Father.

In last 5 years, this might be one of those unique films which has a long list of legendary actors in supporting roles like Ananth Nag, Prakash Raj, Dattanna, Sharath Kumar, Rangayana Raghu, Sadhu Kokila, Achuth Kumar and the list goes on. Despite of their limited on-screen presence, all of them performed really well, especially Dattanna, Prakash Raj and Rangayana Raghu with their natural acting. This is Priya Anand’s debut Kannada film and she have justified her role as Nandini, a salsa instructor and fiancé of Siddharth. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best performance of Punith Rajkumar in recent years as his dialogues, dance and acting creates a long lasting impression on audience.

Santosh Ananddram is the backbone of the film since he is the writer, Lyricist (for 3 songs) and director of the film. This film is visual treat to the audience as Venkatesh Anguraj has filmed this flick in cities of Australia like Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney & Melbourne followed by Bangalore, Goa and Kashi. Original Score and background music is neatly composed by V. Harikrishna and all these songs are superbly poised to the screenplay by Santosh. My favourite songs from this film are Vijay Prakash’s ‘Neene Raajakumara’ and Sonu Nigam’s ‘Saagarada’.

This film was released on 24 March, 2017 over 350 silver screens and it had one of the biggest opening in Kannada Film Industry. The film has received mixed responses from critics as Sunayana Suresh from Times of India rated it 4/5 Stating “Raajakumara is one of the few mass films that has the charm of old-world family entertainers, while still retaining the sass and style related to films of today”, while Shyam Prasad from Bangalore Mirror rated It 3/5 stating “It is only a reference point and the stories are very different. Raajakumara has something for everyone and Punith for his fans.” The Audiences rated this film 8.9/10 in BookMyShow.com from 28,293 votes while, this has scored 9.8/10 in imdb.com from 1,300+ votes so far.

In South India, the majority of audience love their Star actor – dance for peppy songs, fight with goons and deliver punching dialogues which thrills their fans. This film lives up to the expectation of Punith’s fans as well as Dr. Rajkumar’s fans. It is very rare to watch commercial films that takes us back to 80’s genre of films which had old-family sentiments keeping this generation’s audience in mind who watch only films with good content and value good films. Have you booked your tickets yet?

Tales of New Age Cinema: Chapter III

Kirik Party: The Fun ride of the Last Bench Party

College life in everyone’s life is a roller-coaster ride, which matures a person’s life from innocent High-school student to a matured work life. Each one of us have many unforgettable memories with friends in college to cherish with beautiful things, laughter, crushes, breakup and we also learn many things in life.  In college, whether we are with a small group of close friends or an extended group of people, every friendship brings something new to our lives, inspiring us to see world in a new way. Muhammad Ali once said, “Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”  Friendship offers something unique and irreplaceable; each friendship brings up totally who we are.

Kirk party is one of the movies released in last Winter which covers the entire journey of a College student, Karna (portrayed by Rakshit Shetty) from the beginning of the college (especially Engineering) till the last day of the final year. This Rishab Shetty’s directorial venture shows the value of friends who join you in our every moment of Life. Rakshit Shetty and the Seven Odds’ story cover all the aspects we experience in college life in this realistic screenplay i.e., exams, last minute project preparations, suspension, love, breakup, hostel life, last bench gang. Moreover, it reminds our college life especially, our friends with whom we enjoyed those little moments which make us smile now. The film has some unforgettable dialogues in this in college-lingo and this film is filled with many one liners like “Motte Tulud-bitrallo”, “Soda haku anta talliddu” which keeps the audience laughing at the comic timings of actors.

After Ulidavaru Kandante, Rakshit Shetty seems to have explored himself more in acting and he naturally brings up the two shades of Karna with his versatile acting. As Karna, he portrays the role of a first year student- who fights with his seniors and gets suspended along with his last benchers to, a final year rough-and-tough Karna – who does everything to win the college election and goes on a lone bike ride every now and then. It’s not just his two different looks which make a mark in this film but it is his expressions, dialogue delivery and acting which takes the film to the next level and impress the audience.

The other Kirik Party members (his last bench mates) are the ones who add more value to this film. In a recent interview, Rakshit Shetty has informed that they have casted 90% of the actors out of 4000 aspiring actors in audition done by the crew in a college in Bangalore. The film features two new lead actresses Saanvi (Rashmika Madanna) and Arya (Samyukta Hegde), who play pivotal role in this 151 minutes movie with their natural acting. Achuth Kumar as a mechanic impress the audience with Mangalore accent despite of his limited role to play in this film. The casting of these hand-picked actors is excellent and each one of them have done a remarkable acting in this film.

When we come to technical aspects of the film, the cinematography is done by Karm Chawla, who takes this film to another level, especially the kidnapping and bike riding song scenes are the true visual treat. The editing is also done tightly despite this movie clocking over 151 minutes as Rishab Shetty’s direction ensured that it doesn’t feel like a lengthy film. Ajaneesh Lokanath has done a commendable job with his original score and music with his ten songs which, perfectly blends with the screenplay. Songs like ‘Katheyondu’ and ‘Tiruboki jeevana’ reminds of college days.  The song sung by Vashista Simha also play a pivotal role which transfers first year Karna to the final year Karna.

Kirik Party released on 30 December 2016 with over 100 screens all over Karnataka and impressed the audience with house full shows. In a recent press conference, the producers already confirmed this as a Super Hit.  The critics loved this movie too; Time of India and Bangalore Mirror rated this 3.5/5 each, while The Hindu Rated this 4/5. In BookmyShow.com, the audience applauded the film with 89% votes from 18000+ audience’s review, while in Imdb, the film has received 9.4/10 rating so far. Distributed by Jayanna Films and produced by Paramvah Studios along with Pushkar Films, the film has been released in Chennai, Kerala and UAE markets last week with plans to release in US and Europe soon.

We have seen many youth focused, college story films over the years and especially in last two decades, however, it is difficult to make a edge of the seat experience in this type of films. Friendship is one of the relationships, for which we spend much more time in cultivating them and also learn to be a good friend. Friendship teaches to be together even after breakups, at graduations, at weddings and at funerals. This is why our friends hold a special space in our hearts whether near or far. This Rishab Shetty’s flick delivers lively and realistic performance of all actors. This film also promises to give an impression which leaves audience walking out of the silver screen with a good feeling. This is a must watch movie for all age group.

Thank you,

Madhukar