Some thefts remain unsolved

Kalavu 
Kannada (U)  ¬¬¬
Director: Ravi M
Cast: Umashree, Karisubbu, Bhavani Prakash, Shivaji Rao Jadhav and Avinash


A buffalo gets stolen in the middle of the night. Nobody has a clue about its whereabouts as Rangamma and her younger sister Ratnamma set out to search for and bring back their symbol of wealth, emotional pillar, etc. In the process, old wounds are opened up, emotions fester and the actual incident lends itself to several interpretations. 

K Y Narayanaswamy’s story, screenplay and dialogues paint the picture of an Indian village in the throes of transition so well that without realising, the viewer joins the sisters in their search, sympathises with their elderly mother for whom the buffalo represented much more than just a source of income, and partakes in the gossip and strategems taking place in rival camps, while going through the upheaval forcefully buried within seemingly weak hearts all this while...

Kalavu starts well, and the Harikathe-type song featuring Umashree, Pramila Bengre and Bhavani Prakash takes it to another level actually. Soon, it slides into a stop, with the story going nowhere but running around the capture of village thief Patla. Once that is accomplished, there is little to look forward to. But there is a surprise awaiting the audience at the end...

Most of the actors, led so ebulliently by Jadhav, act out their parts well, allowing the viewer to enjoy the experience thoroughly. Each emotion and conflict is brought out well, that only somebody daft, or someone who’s yet to experience what loss is, can miss them. Being seasoned actors, their theatre-craft makes for some pleasant viewing. So much so that expectations about the film soar.

The only drawback of Kalavu is that the abrupt end leaves the audience wanting more. Or perhaps, the director thought some things must be left undisturbed?...

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