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Kalpana

B S Srivani, September 28, 2012

Time to avenge ghosts too

Kannada (A)
Cast: Upendra, Sai Kumar, Shruthi, Umashri  
Director: Ramanarayanan


What’s the best way to cure a person scared of ghosts? Get one to possess him of course! Making him tie saree, wear bangles, use turmeric and vermilion paste as face and body wash doesn’t hurt either. For, he can avenge the wrongs against the ghost (sorry, of the dead person) easily and get away with it.

Raghava Lawrence’s Muni 2: Kanchana drew flak for its over the top vulgarity and crudity besides other things. But it went on to become one of the top grossers in Tamil cinema that year. Director Ramnarayanan’s Kalpana with Upendra in the lead retains the crudity alright.


The assault on the senses begins with Umashree’s drawn out call to her son Raghava in the very first scene. Thereafter it becomes difficult to keep composure at the way the actress’s skills are utilised; though neighbours, Kannadigas ARE different from Tamilians in culture and lifestyle for one. The actress hams and flutters, bringing forth all her helplessness at being bound so. Shruthi takes off from Rama Shyama Bhama but manages to make people laugh. Achyut Kumar is adequate. Lakshmi Rai is just an adornment; one doesn’t miss her at all. It is Uppi’s show after all. Till the entry of Sai Kumar.

The Dialogue King mesmerises as transgender Kalpana, who is wronged by one and all.

This segment truly redeems the entire film. It’s a call for respectable coexistence with the ‘mainstream’ society which looks down upon anything not conforming to its everchanging, strict moral standards.

Thereafter, the film is on predictable lines. The part to savour here is of Upendra. His restless eyes might have finally found their rightful calling — scaring his close ones witless with spookiness added to their expression! His abundant energy gets another outlet in Kalpana and his transformation is beautiful.

But, even he can’t escape getting caricatured. The director and dialogue writer Dwarki (Raghav) have milked the star’s image for what it’s worth. Super Subbarayan’s action choreography and Rajakeerthi’s editing bring back Tamil films of yore to mind. Background score is impressive, but the songs, coming from Harikrishna, are disappointing.
Kalpana is for Uppi’s fans and for those who keep hiding their fears under jokes.

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