Let the angst simmer on way to discovery

Film reviews

Let the angst simmer on way to discovery

Teenage
Kannada (U/A) ¬¬¬
Director: H R Shrikanth
Cast: S S Kishan, Apoorva Arora, Tanvi Lonkar and
others

Teenage is a theme hardly explored by the film makers, discounting what’s being rolled out recently, mainly in multiplexes. While most fear to tread the path of blending sensuality, curiosity and sensibility with responsibility, some of them have come out with mostly disappointing fare.

Following in his famous son’s footsteps, the director has explored this unchartered territory after a fashion. For, it is clear from the beginning, he is wary of risking all the goodwill and image earned by his son in one shot. Even the dialogues seem so laboured and drawn out, they hark back to movies that came out of the Silent Era!

The confusion is evident in the way the plot progresses. Initially “Teenage,” rather clumsily, tries to showcase the usual workings of scrambled minds trying to make sense of a world getting revealed afresh. Then, the director infuses some sentiment by way of estranged siblings, the elder one so desperate to win his sister’s love he’s ready to take part in reality shows and win her a house!
Soon, this sub-plot takes a backseat and Kishan and the girls come into their own. Be it the daily commute to school by bus, their interaction (bare minimum and clumsily handled--the director plays way too safe here) with other schoolmates or the trip Rosy and Aarya take to an island - all come alive, mainly due to the boy and his girls. Indeed, a sometimes befuddled Kishan lets the girls do the job for him-- it works beautifully. Priya Bharat Khanna, Apoorva Arora, Tanvi Lonkar and two other girls happily binge on the roles offered, though only Apoorva and Tanvi have more flesh to their characters and impress the most. It is entertaining to watch all the young characters act their age and for once, their juniors do not try to overpower them, and the audience, which is a relief to many watching parents. Except for Jayashree Raj, most of the cast is self-conscious while Raju Talikote goes overboard in the only proper scene he has. Is it really necessary to cram those dialogues there?

Kishan, however, shines in editing, displaying a cool professional hand. Makesh and Rahul’s underwater cinematography is a treat to watch; even above water is just fine except when the camera seems to be unnecessarily restless, but that’s teen angst for you! Mass Mada’s action choreography doesn’t go overboard. Obvious drawbacks: too many songs to pay attention to and the director’s very loud background score.

“”Teenage is open to audience interpretation. Which is as it should be.

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