Handling name trouble is not easy

Handling name trouble is not easy

KalyanamastuKannada (U)  *Cast: Pooja Gandhi, Raviprakash, Tejaswini, Avinash and othersDirector: B Mallesh
Kalyanamastu and a few other films went on the floors a few years ago. With its release, Kalyanamastu becomes one of the very few films where one can catch a svelte Pooja Gandhi, in all her youthful innocence – much before she joined mainstream politics.

Apart from this unexpected treat, the film has precious little to look forward to. Long in the making, Kalyanamastu reeks of some regressive methods that were current till the late 90s. The story-telling is excruciatingly slow and rudderless even as the actors go through their motions. The dialogues too show up the lack of cohesion in the director’s script.

Barring a couple of pleasant songs, the music with background score seems to belong to a different era. Siddharth’s camera is earnest, capturing both plus and minus, including Pooja’s growth. With a poorly etched screenplay, there’s hardly any work for seasoned actors. Indeed, the director is guilty of making wrong choices in matching actors with their roles. Newcomer Raviprakash is passable in patches, while Patre Ajith is wasted in a tiny role. Ditto Tejaswini. Avinash, Abhijith, Sangeetha and others are earnest but just. 

The story, painstakingly extracted from the confused tangle, is of two women sharing the same name. How the name plays havoc in their lives, with one ending her life and another’s marriage in serious trouble is the subject for Kalyanamastu. That both women are tied to the hero is what is ‘different’ in this family drama sans any ‘feel’.

An excruciating 120-odd minutes later, the viewer can only wish for the welfare of fellow members of the audience before escaping as fast as possible.

Kalyanamastu is watchable in parts mainly due to Pooja.