Sweet-sour social drama

Kannada (U)
Cast: Arjun Sarja, Madhuri Bhattacharya, Master Sankalp, Ramakrishna, Neenasam Ashwath
Director: Manoj Sati

Spotlighting on special children, their struggles for social acceptance, squinted societal attitudes seems to be latest do among film-makers. Setting the fad was Tare Zameen Par, which, in its wake, saw horde of such homily-driven flicks hit the marquee. One such, turning celluloid beacon, on a deaf-mute, but precocious boy facing pressures of his physical challenges, is Manoj Sati’s Prasad. 

Despite Sati’s sincere attempts, the film, however, falls flat being devoid of exceptional merit and cinematic excellence, in the absence of more mature, sensitive and sensible screenplay which skims the surface focusing attention on the misgivings of the parents, and neighbourly pontifications. 

Dedicated to all children, goes its tagline. However, the film, which turns out into a more mundane and mediocre drama, is a far a cry from it. Virtually, entire running time is needleslly channelised in capturing the angst, anger and anxiety of the boy’s father — Shankar, a garage mechanic, more interested in winning lotteries, and drowning his sorrow in drinks bemoaning his accursed situation which sees him turning from an ardent devotee to an atheist and agnostic.
 The wife Malathi though is shown in much more positive aspect, coming to terms with their situation, becoming pillar of support not only for her distracted, dejected and drunkard husband trying to wean him from his wanton ways, as also the child as a moral cog , encouraging his every activity. 

Sadly, the film lacks spiritied and soulful storytelling to turn it in an award-winning and awe-inspiring appreciative work skidding into listless, languid fare. The boy, who, in real is a deaf-mute, essays his role deftly with his expressive eyes stealing hearts. Shorn of proverbial action oriented role, Arjun Sarja does justice as an anguished father. Madhuri provides able prop.

What covets you most is melodious music of inimitable maestro Illayaraja. Prasad can be partaken for its meaning and message oriented attempt, even if it’s rather bitter, sweet-sour proffering does may not suit your discerning and demanding palate.