Movie : Nayi Neralu
Year : 2006
Cast : Pavithra Lokesh, Rameshwari varma, Ananya Kasaravalli, Sringeri Ramanna, Ashwin Bolar, Ramesh
Music : Isac Thomas Kottakapalli
Original Story : S L Bhairappa
Direction-Screen Play : Girish Kasaravalli
Story : S.L. Bhyrappa
Camera : S. Ramachandra
Producer : Abhishek Patil, Basanth Kumar Patil
Award Winning Movie !!
Acchanniah lives with his wife and his widowed daughter in law in a remote village in Karnataka. His granddaughter Rajalakshmi is in a distant city completing her studies. Acchanniah learns from a friend that a boy in a distant village claims that he was the son of Acchanniah in his previous birth. Achannaiah dismisses the information as baseless. But his ailing wife believes or rather chooses to believe that her son who died twenty years ago has indeed come back. Acchanniah sets out to meet the boy. The boy is about twenty years old and provides some information regarding his previous birth which tallies with or rather appears to tally with his previous birth. Acchanniah brings home this boy whose name is Vishwa. Acchannaih's wife realises a new purpose in living and accepts this stranger as her son. But it is Venkatalakshmi, Acchanniah's daughter in law who finds it difficult to accept some stranger as her long lost husband. After some initial resistance, Venkatalakshmi realises that this is indeed an opportunity to attain all that she is restrained from. Her desires emerge again and she accepts the boy as her husband. It is here that problems start. The society which forced her to believe its her husband does not approve of Venkatalakshmi accepting the man as her husband and living with him. Rajalakshmi swears that this stranger who is her age is not her father. She tries to convince her mother to come out of such a delusion but to no avail. Acchanniah and his wife Nagalakshmi are shocked to hear that Venkatalakshmi is pregnant with Vishwa's child. Matter complicate and Acchanniah is humiliated in the public by his fellow brahmins. Venkatalakshmi sensing the intensity of the situation decides to leave the village and live in a god-forsaken place with Vishwa. She has a hard life trying to manage ends meet. Vishwa is an eccentric young man and keeping him in control is not easy. To worsen things, Vishwa is attracted to Sukri, a girl from the worker class. Nagalakshmi dies unable to digest these bizarre happenings. Rajalakshmi decides to seek the help of the court to get her mother back. They file a false complaint on Vishwa. Aware of the family's sinister motives, Vishwa refuses to return to Venkatalakshmi. Meanwhile, a daughter is born to Venkatalakshmi. The court announces Vishwa guilty and he is sent to two years rigorous imprisonment. But Venkatalakshmi declares that she will wait for Vishwa to be released although she is certain that he will not return to her. She tells her daughter that she never believed that Vishwa was her husband reincarnate.
The 'inner' theme
Naayi Neralu has a very complex theme of great intensity. Earlier films of Girish Kasaravalli focussed on social themes but were very straight in their narrative. But Naayi Neralu leaves enough for the viewer to interpret and analyze. On the outside the film deals with three different members of a family dealing with a very bizarre situation. But the inner theme is much more complex and can be an analyzed in different dimensions. It is a culmination of many aspects of life: Human relationships, Man and Society, Multiple Perspectives to a particular situation and so on. The fact is that each of three protagonists look at the situation the way they want to. Although the title suggests rebirth, the actual film deals with how people react to such a situation.
- The plot suggests a very intense and bizarre situation. The beauty of the film is how convincing it is. The film unfolds like a real situation being captured by a video camera.
- The intensity of the plot unfolds very well in the film. In the beginning, its just a rumour. But in the end, its a devastating truth. The transition from the former to the latter evolves successfully through the film.
- The character of Venkatalakshmi emerges as a very strong individual towards the end of the film. She tells her father in law that she has lived her entire life doing things which others say and that she has decided to live the way she wants to. But at the end, we realize what a strong character she has been through the film.
- Girish Kasaravalli's film needs no introduction regarding its climax. As in all his films, the climax is one of the major highlights of the film. The final scene shows Venkatalakshmi standing on the banks with her child in hand looking at her daughter and father in law leave in a boat. This is the director's way of telling the audience that Venkatalakshmi has evolved into a strong individual.
Actors and performances
The role of Venkatalakshmi was played by Pavitra Lokesh. Pavitra Lokesh is a well established actress in Kannada Cinema. She proved her worth as a very good actress in the film. Rameshwari Varma who played the role of Nagalakshmi is a theatre actress and this was her second film. Ananya Kasaravalli gives a memorable performance as Rajalakshmi. Sringeri Ramanna as Acchanniah excels as a sensitive father in law caught between the affection for his daughter in law and the laws of the society. Naayi Neralu was Ashwin Bolar's debut feature and also his first venture into the Indian Film industry.
Awards and screenings
Karnataka state film awards, 2006:
- Best Film
- Best Director for Girish Kasaravalli.
- Best Actress for Pavitra Lokesh.
Osian's Asian Film Festival, CINEFAN, 2006:
- Jury award in the Indian Film Category.
Karachi International Film Festival, 2006
International Film Festival Of Mumbai, MAMI Awards, 2007
- Best film.
- Best Direction award for Girish Kasaravalli.
- Indian International Film Festival, 2006.
- Third Eye Film Festival, 2006.
- Palm Springs Film Festival,2006.
- International Film Festival Of Rotterdam in the Masteros category, 2007.
- Singapore International Film Festival, 2007.
- Bangkok Film Festival, 2007.