Where humanity is a perishable commodity

Last Updated 08 February 2013, 19:45 IST

Gombegala Love ¬¬¬¬

Kannada (U)

Director: Santhosh

Cast: Arun, Pavana, Achyut Kumar, Shruthi and others

Gombegala Love evokes expectation of yet another run-of-the-mill love story with underworld flavour – an easy route taken by many a newcomer out to test the waters in Gandhinagar.

Indeed, the first few scenes are enough to drive the audience into wearing out their teeth, hairline and the like. The stark palette doesn’t help either. Kiran Hampapur’s ‘unwieldy’ camera finally gets a grip around interval. A little more patience and the second half explodes onto the conscience, punching in the gut not seen in recent times.

It’s a love story all right, but also testimony to grit, courage and humanity. Certainly, for a fresh team, Gombegala Love makes a strong impact. The lead pair and main crew, including the director, are both raw, but bring a disciplined passion and conviction to the table. The veterans on board, first Achyut Kumar and later Shruthi, back the team with solid performances.

Music by Srinath Vijay is not ‘commercial’ in any sense, but is like a gurgling brook, full of enthusiasm. Hampapur’s camera complements the tunes. Coming to the lead pair, their rawness is engaging – quite apt for their roles. Arun should shed his rigidity and the head wobbles to register his presence.

Pavana is feisty and confident. Both of them, however, need to work on their dialogue delivery; not all theatre techniques succeed completely. But one does – when Achyut Kumar goes in search of Arun with a club in hand. The scene offers unadulterated delight. Soon, it is time for Shruthi to take over.

An intelligent director extracts fine work from the seasoned actress without resorting to unnecessary histrionics. Most of the cast performs well. Dialogues are vested with the power of simplicity, hitting the audience where it matters the most – no mean achievement this.

A fine effort by newcomers in a long time, Gombegala Love is not something to be laughed off.

(Published 08 February 2013, 19:45 IST)

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