Wine and wisdom mature with age

Wine and wisdom mature with age

Director’s Special
Kannada (U/A) ¬¬¬¬
Director: Guruprasad
Cast: Rangayana Raghu, Dhananjay, Vatsala Mohan, Ram and Anoop Seelin

There is Rangayana Raghu, replacing Jaggesh. There is Pooja Gandhi to bring in some glamour. Then there is director Guruprasad, who has finally brought his most eagerly awaited Director’s Special to the masses and the classes.

There may be some who differ on the benefits of the brew, but there is no second thought about Guru’s offering. Giving Uppi, Yogaraj Bhat and others a run for their money when it comes to shoving all BIG words (read Sanskrit verses and vachana-inspired couplets) down a welcoming audience’s throat, Guru travels far, delighting and disgusting in turns–his vice-like grip on the story is excruciatingly evident. Again.

For, unlike the dialogues by others, his words carry their full weight and either flatten a simpleton looking for just fun or envelop him in emotion for some time to come. But it is heartening to see that the fan does not disappoint the film maker.

The crux of the story is this: An orphan adopts a father, mother, elder brother and younger sister to shoo away that sense of rootlessness and loneliness. Each of them come into the house with no agenda than curiosity at this stranger whose warmth can keep all the wolves of hunger, lust and greed at bay. Or wait a minute.

Does it actually? Greed, one of the Seven Sins, is never far away and takes the adopted family to the brink of morphing into something purely evil. That is when the twist comes. The climax brings to mind M F Husain’s Meenaxi a bit.

So, who is the hero of this story? Is it Raghu, who has got a beautiful role, perhaps after Inti Ninna Preetiya and Modala Sala? Or newcomer Dhananjaya, whose eyes and body language speak volumes while opening the mouth very little?

Or Guruprasad himself, for keeping the sharpness in his wit red-hot while taking care to reach out to the common man who stubbornly clings to his values, thereby displaying duality in the mental makeup and yet triumphs against all odds? Or Anoop Seelin, for weaving in an undercurrent in the sea of emotions Guru sinks the viewers in, and merging with that sea with obvious finality and glee?

Granted the entire movie is too verbose but, just like Matha and Eddelu Manjunatha, Guru prods a dazed audience into doing something--either killing its apathy or eliminate the herald.

Cinematographer Mahendra Simha sheds his ‘claustrophobic’ fears and Kemparaju deftly handles the scissors. Even Thriller Manju and Imran Sardaria’s works are unobtrusive--a welcome change.

But, too much of anything is not good. And so, the director appears to stumble towards the climax, by giving in meekly. Or did he?

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