Never play kabaddi with kids

Never play kabaddi with kids

Veera
Kannada (U/A) ***
Director: Aiyappa P Sharma
Cast: Malashree, Rahul Dev, Ashish Vidyarthi, C R Simha

Heroine is the avenger of some wrong, usually one that happened in the childhood, punching goons into pulp or shooting their brains and lungs out. She has a backer, or two, who will mind her back when she is out socking the villains for all their worth.

Now, for some balance. Villains gang up and thrash the heroine within an inch of her life. She is then dumped into some pit with a picturesque waterfall keeping company and half the job is done. The next half sees her resurrection before mayhem ensues. Shubham!

Malashree’s recent outings at the box office have more or less run on this theme and Veera is no exception. Ashish Vidyarthi has been promoted from villainy to cop roles - a supporting character in the literal sense.

C R Simha’s attempt to be sleazy and slimy merely has one squirming in the seat, impatient for the actor to come through and not the performer. Indeed, most of the characters are reduced to caricatures, with Raju Thalikote not resorting to staccato dialogue delivery.

As the main villain, Rahul Dev shows remarkable restraint and dedication in trying to master the local language. Same is not true of either younger brother Mukul or Ashish. Komal, for a while, misleads audience into believing he is the male lead, which fortunately is not the case. His superhit pyarge aagbuttaithe is exploited to the hilt, but of course. Malashree as his love Malini Iyer (named after the character made popular by actress Sridevi in her lone TV stint), an Iyengar veettu azhagi (with apologies to
Anniyan) raises a few laughs. But her serious demeanour, ruined skin and wrinkles and bags below the eyes give away much more than intended. Smt Sarvamangala’s voice is sorely missed as the Action Queen cannot simply overcome certain drawbacks like the inability to imbue her dialogues with appropriate emotions.

But nothing to match the gutsy actress in the action department. She can bend with the best and kick the rest, bulk, eerie-looking contacts and hairstyles be damned! Thriller Manju, Ravi Varma, Palani Raj - all have a blast playing with the toys producer Ramu has provided them, including the Thai stuntmen who have purportedly kicked Jackie Chan’s butt once upon a time.

Veera appears to be another name in Malashree’s list that has been ticked off. Apart from splendid action and Komal’s comedy, there’s little to write home about. The actress’ fans, however, will get their ticket’s poora worth.

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