At last, a ‘different’ film that is actually different

RAJEEV A. RAO writes from Bangalore: After watching Gaalipata, I had mentioned that Yogaraj Bhat had a challenge upfront for his next venture—“to take the road not taken, to tread on uncharted territory and to significantly exceed expectations”.

22 months later, it gives me great pleasure to report that Bhat scores a neat hat-trick with Manasaare. It has all the elements from his earlier celluloid successes while at the same time being a refreshingly fresh movie —a “statement movie” in the garb of a love story.

The whole storyline has been woven to make one statement: don’t worry about this world, this world is a huchchara santhe (mad world).  Starting with that surmise, Bhat builds up his pieces to make a bold/ unconventional film that might, however, leave many viewers (and reviewers) wondering.

Comparisons may be odious, even inevitable, if a director is following up on Mungaaru Male and Gaalipata.  But Bhat makes sure that such comparisons are also redundant.

One could say that the film has an even thinner storyline compared to his earlier two films. He has let go of his favorite actors (Ganesh, Anant Nag), his favourite animals (the rabbit and the pig), and his favourite element (the rain.)  Instead, he relies on a stronger script (newcomer Pawan Kumar) and witty dialogues bordering on the ironical  as main spine of the movie.

Lilting music by Mano Murthy that grows upon you, impeccable photography by Sathya Hegde and the word wizardry of Jayant Kaikini and Bhat himself complement this unusual fare.

Faith in a fairly new cast (at least for a commercial film) has paid off.  While Digant and Aindrita Ray prove to be a candy-floss on-screen couple (with fairly creditable performance to boot by each), Raju Thaalikoti steals the show with his Dhaarawaadi dialect and dialogue delivery: gems like “temporary huchcharu oLage and permanent huchcharu Horage” (temporary mad men inside, permanent mad men outside) abound.

The technical crew has delivered a top-notch performance—the picturisation of the song “Naa naguva modalene” sums up the crew’s performance, elevating the song to a visual treat. Bhat and team drive home the point that concept and script are the pillars of their movies, with a simple but brilliantly executed climax.

The reviewers are a flummoxed lot. The New Indian Express and DNA largely hail the movie. Deccan Herald hints cruelly at “inspirations” when there are none, and The Times of India childishly labels the movie “a romance”. Vijaya Karnataka has an honestly positive review at the same time wondering how reviewers can assign “stars” to such an unusual movie.

And like the reviewers, one would expect that the movie, given its concept and execution, would garner mixed feelings from its viewers.  But, coming at a time when there is such a lack of fresh ideas and execution in Kannada filmdom, this is a movie to be watched by all and judged by each.

Bhattare, we are eagerly waiting for your next one.

Also read: Jayant Kaikini: Means are as vital as the end

Jayant Kaikini: The wrath of the sambar-lover