Friday 13 February, 2015
Starring: Ganesh, Amoolya, Parul Yadav, Avinash, Yashas Surya, Ananth Nag, Thara, Vinaya Prasad, Shanthamma,
Sadhu Kokila, Ninasam Ashwath, Mandya Ramesh, Dev, V. Manohar, Mamatha Rawath, Amith, Suryakala, Bhagya, Gunashekar, Renu, Chandru, Vikram, Gowtham, Narayan, Balaji, Umesh,
Pramila Srikar, Savitha, Kavana, Master Bhuvan, Master Dhyan, Master Pratheek, Master Santhosh
Director: Manju Swaraj
Producer: K.A. Suresh
Music Dir: V. Harikrishna
Lyricist: V. Nagendra Prasad, Kaviraj, Prof M. Krishne Gowda
Singers: Manjula Gururaj, Sonu Nigam, Nanditha, Shaan
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Shravani (Amulya) is the only daughter in a joint family, with a very strict and domineering father, Kempegowda (Avinash). She lives a very sheltered life, and spends a lot of time playing with children. Although she is eighteen years old, she has the mind of a child. The family is planning her marriage to benefit them, to someone in another family. She is in love with Sudeep (Yashas Surya), who claims to love her. However, he is in fact the leader of a gang who abduct young girls, rape them and torture them to death, and take their gold and jewellery. She is taken to an isolated house, but manages to escape, and is saved by Subramanya, aka Subbu (Ganesh), a budding singer, who is passing on his motor-bike. Subbu says he will take her home, but she tells him that her father and his brothers would kill her, because she has tarnished the family honour. So Subbu says he will pretend to be her husband “for one day”, and say that they have eloped, then when the family have cooled down, she can go home, and say that he has left her, and the family will accept her back. He takes her back home, and they do at first threaten to kill both Shravani and Subbu, and are only held back by what it would do to the family image and honour. Her father prohibits her from entering the house.
Subbu takes her to the home of an aunt, and leaves her there. But next day, she phones him and tells him she was afraid to go into her aunt’s house, but a very nice man had got her a job, where she could dance and earn Rs. 1000 a day. Subbu quickly goes and rescues her from the “job”, which, in her child-like innocence she did not realise was in a brothel!
Subbu and Shravani go to see Govinda (Sadhu Kokila), who acts as an estate agent (among other things), who gets them accommodation they can afford, in the upstairs flat of a house owned by Seetharam (Ananth Nag) and Anuradha (Tara). Subbu is an orphan – his parents died in an accident when he was young, and he sings with orchestras and bands to earn a living. He would like to become a successful and famous singer. They live together, as friends, and we see continuing immaturity in Shravani’s behaviour. One of her friends had told her at the very beginning that she still hadn’t grown up. Subbu has a guitar, which she keeps calling a violin. She says “I am naïve. I don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong”. Here, she is not talking in a moral sense of right and wrong, she’s talking about appropriate behaviour. Subbu describes her as “immature” and Anuradha describes her as “like a kid”. She goes shopping one day, sees and likes a bonsai fruit tree (worth about Rs. 15,000), which she can’t afford and Anuradha buys it for her. She calls it “Sonu” and talks to it as if it was a human being, and says it will relay what she says to all the plants at her family’s house. Gradually the friendship develops into love, but they are unable to express it to each other.
In the meantime, all the joy has gone from Shravani’s family, because of her absence, so they decide they want to kill Subbu, and bring Shravani back. They have no conception of the happiness she has with Subbu, and of what her life with him means to her. At the same time, Sudeep and his gang, who abducted Shravani, decide to have their wicked way with Shravani, and kill her.
Will this delightful but child-like creature ever grow up? Will Subbu make a success in his career as a singer? Will they be able to survive against their would-be killers? Will Shravani be accepted back into her family? Watch the film to find out.
1. Akal Benne
2. Naguva Maguva
3. Kannalle Kannittu
4. Ninna Nodo
Released Year: 2013
Running Time: 158 minutes/Colour/Kannada
This is an excellent film, but it is a film that the more you study it, the more you will be amazed at the depth of skill shown by the film-makers, script-writer, director and cast. It’s even better than you think on first watching!
We are introduced to the principal characters, Subbu, Shravani and Kempegowda by Sudeep as a Narrator. In order to fully understand the film, we must understand the character of Shravani. She is a child-like creature, like a little girl who has never grown up. She sounds like a little girl when she speaks. In old days, one would say she was “backward”, but now we would say that she has “learning disabilities”. This sort of behaviour could have several causes, for example, the result of a difficult birth, a head injury, or disease. It could also be a result of living an isolated life with no-one of her own age to spend time with – and this would seem to be the case here, because she is the only daughter in the family, and she seems to spend all her time playing with children. She also has a highly repressed life, as can be seen by the domineering father and over-protective uncles.
Her immaturity continues throughout the film, but one day she surprises Subbu be giving him sensible adult advice about something (because she has read it in a newspaper), and she is instrumental in helping him in his career. So the outlook is good for her. She plays the part of this immature little child-like creature to perfection throughout the film, eventually with gradual signs of upcoming maturity.
Ganesh is excellent as Subbu – we may think of him as an action hero, but he is best in the “caring” roles, the way in which he cares for and looks after Shravani here. The chemistry is wonderful. The characters played by Ananth Nag and Tara have a lovely relationship with each other and with the characters played by Ganesh and Amulya. The introduction by Sudeep as Narrator sets the scene for the film
Sadhu Kokila is also excellent in his role as Estate Agent, the boy-friend of Komila (or is it Kamila???), and as someone who introduces Subbu to Music Directors. Avinash is just right as the stern authoritarian father, and Vinaya Prasad as the sympathetic mother, with the saddest lines in the film, who tells her daughter, “The girls in our country don’t have the right to dream about love. Our dream boy, can’t be our life partner. Who we have to live with, and who we have to spend our lives with, will be decided by our elders. We have to marry them and learn to love them.”
The music, lyrics and picturisation of the songs are excellent:
1. “Akal Benne” is an item song sung in the establishment where Shravani was supposed to earn Rs. 1000 a day by dancing, and is appropriate to the nature of the establishment. The dancer n this item-song is Parul Yadav with Manjula Gururaj as playback singer.
2. “Naguva Maguva” is Subbu’s love song where he sings of his love for her, and she of her love for him. It is interesting in this song, which is the desire of his dream (or “khwab” in Hindi), Shravani appears as normal for her age, not as child-like. Is this the way he sees her, or is it the way he would like her to be?
3. “Kannalle Kannittu” is Shravani’s love-song. Immediately before the song, we see her being fed by Subbu, then she remembers being fed by her mother, then she is getting ready for a job-interview as a teacher, and Anuradha tells Subbu that he is getting her ready as if she was a kid going to school. He replies that she is a kid for him. She left her parents having faith in him, so he has to show his love towards her. They set off on his motor-bike, which in her imagination is transformed into a silver horse-drawn carriage. In this song, she is child-like, and Subbu acts in the charming way he normally reacts to her childishness.
4. “Ninna Nodo” is Subbu’s love-song, filmed on the well-known beach in Thailand, the setting of so many songs, and none the less welcome as a setting here, which adds to the charm of the song. In this song, Shravani again appears as normal for her age.
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