Keeping darkness at bay

Keeping darkness at bay

Kannada (A) ¬¬¬¬
Director: A Harsha
Cast: Shivarajkumar,
Aindrita Ray, K S Shridhar, Rukmini Vijaykumar, Lokesh and others

They say practice makes perfect. Which rings true in case of Harsha, the ace choreographer-cum-director. While others experimented with recent films like Jayammana Maga, Harsha gets it right with his fantasy fare Bhajaranghi.

Technology is finally accompanying some smarts, resulting in something delightfully creditable, for once. So does the Bhajaranghi, Shivarajkumar.

Proving yet again age is not a barrier, the man who made dancing, and later, wielding the long machete famous, Shivarajkumar shows how to “flaunt” a lean and muscular body, six-pack abs or not.

With energy matching his enthusiasm and work ethics, the Hat-trick Hero offers lessons to some of his junior colleagues and fans worth emulating.

 Live-wire Aindrita Ray pales in comparison but perhaps there’s a better story awaiting this pairing, sure to delight audience.

Shivaram, Girija Lokesh, Shridhar, Sadhu Kokila, Biradar, Tabla Nani, Harini, Bullet Prakash and others do their bit. Arjun Janya’s music complements the visuals beautifully composed and shot.

Deepu S Kumar may have struggled to chop a film this lengthy, but the fans are definitely not complaining.

A huge chunk of the applause must go to art director Ravi Santehaklu for the village sets at Hesaraghatta and Sapota Garden as well as the tall Anjaneya statue, apart from the detailing that has gone in the work.

At first look, Bhajaranghi may actually displease some with scenes bringing to mind films like Saarathi, Jayammana Maga and to an extent, one of Telugu actor Mahesh Babu’s films!

The screenplay by Harsha, Nandkishore and others seem to be running on predictable lines—the entire film is after all another assertion of the perception Good triumphs over Evil.

Till there is a twist. In the shape of danseuse Rukmini Vijaykumar who looks ethereal in white and gives the lift the sagging script desperately needed.

As Villain No 2, Lokesh or Loki is in fine form, looking menacing and sinister, though he could have done without the hissing.

Bhajaranghi doesn’t follow logic much but is a celebration of yet another re-invention of a mature actor, backed by sensible performances from others, decent music and appropriate dialogues.

That the story is commonplace pales before clever packaging of the elements. A job well done.

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