Patriotism retains some flavour

Kannada (U/A)
Cast: Siddhanth, Shirin, Sharat Babu, Sumalatha and others
Director: N Omprakash Rao

“Ak-56” had its quota of expectations—the 25th film directed by Omprakash Rao who gave several ‘mass’ hits, the ‘costliest’film (with the costliest chase), Sharat Babu and Sumalatha pairing etc., etc... .

The average cinema fan can be satisfied with several things. First of all, the much-touted chasing scene–Rao being Rao, spares no expense in blasting all types of vehicles to smithereens; the chase is beautifully choreographed, Palaniraj stamping his authority in the field yet again.

M S Ramesh goes ballistic with his dialogues, bordering on utter jingoism at times.

Rao has also chosen his actors well. The scenes involving Sharat Babu, Sumalatha, Lokanath, Kishori Ballal, Lakshman and others give an impression that “Ak-56” is not an action thriller but an out and out family drama. The director’s subtle handling of the emotions and their manifestation is to be lauded. Actor Siddhanth’s (Siddharth of “Minchu”, remake of Tamil “Thimiru”) plus point is his silence, which speaks volumes.

Three years after his debut, the actor lags in only two departments - maintaining his weight and romancing heroines convincingly. Perhaps, the accident during shooting set him back. But Naveen Krishna’s sometimes hamming dialogue delivery helps the actor somewhat.

Shirin is there to spice up things – but is sidelined post interval. Abhiman Roy’s music and background score add value to the film.

The biggest letdown is, however, the editing— which fails to hide the director’s confusion, whether to turn the film into a family drama with some action thrown in or vice versa.  Manohar’s camera output is sufficient. A seasoned actor like Atul Kulkarni is wasted while the KRS reservoir, every Kannadiga’s pride, is handled with great care and caution by the director.

Suchendra Prasad gets to showcase his worth yet again, but only just. Some of the dialogues put the brakes on the thinking processes. But when the viewer can be satisfied with a) the chase scene b) the pleasant songs and c) another close-up of the KRS in all its barren glory, things like ‘values’ recede into oblivion quite naturally.

The director’s convoluted screenplay contrives to justify the screenplay—action buffs are satisfied. That’s it.