Divide and destroy is Shathru's mantra

Divide and destroy is Shathru's mantra

Divide and destroy is Shathru's mantra

Kannada (U/A)  ¬¬
Director: J K
Cast: Prem Kumar, Sharath Lohitashwa and others

After casting their eyes upon the neighbours for “inspiration”, seems like filmmakers are looking in their own backyard for ideas — on the sly.

Strands of thick plots that had the audience spellbound 15-20 years ago are being cleverly developed as original stories. The outcome of such efforts happens to be another matter.

The Prem Kumar-starrer Shathru credits Melwin with the original story but strongly brings to mind Ananth Nag’s splendid turn as the cop in teacher’s disguise in the 1984 film Ramapurada Ravana. The tricks employed by the hero there were sound, making sense even to morons.

Director J K (who doesn’t want to go by his full name) though seems to think loud screaming and power-packed fights are enough to flesh out characters, leaving out logic and sequence.

By the time there is any semblance of order, it is all over as the audience waits for the Maha-climax fight. The Lovely Star looks as handsome as ever in khaki but so do many of our real officers. His eyes are fireballs and biceps pure steel but apart from raising his eyebrows and looking angry, Prem Kumar doesn’t get to display a cop’s mannerisms.

The locales are beautiful, setting the stage for a riveting story but a weak and absurd screenplay fritters all the ground advantage. The only two songs shot on the lead pair (were they now really?) are also a lesson in how not to conceptualise in a hurry. Sujith Shetty’s music is sheer torture while Sadhu provides an evocative background score.

Shathru had resources at its disposal that get wasted. Despite two cameramen, the work is shoddy and brilliant in patches which is criminal for stories of this kind.

Coming to the actors, Sharath Lohitashwa’s roar is way better than the raw earthiness of Ravishankar, but again he too is let down by poor characterisation. Rangayana Raghu’s act doesn’t register much either.

Tabla Nani and Bullet Prakash get to come and go along with Mangaloor Suresh while Dimple Chopra, the heroine, is absolutely unnecessary.Crude making is the film’s Shathru here.