Legal wit helps avenge wrongs

Legal wit helps avenge wrongs

Savaal
Kannada (U/A)  ¬ ¬
Director: Dhananjay Balaji
Cast: Prajwal Devaraj, Shanu Chhabra, Raju Thalikote, Shobhraj, Jai Jagadish

Gone are the days when film makers could get away, taking many cinematic liberties as the audience was largely tolerant in pursuit of entertainment and intellectual stimulation. Past few years have made them tread cautiously after being hit with writs every now and then particularly at the time of releasing their films.

Yet, some of them refuse to learn. As a result, simple stories that could turn powerful with deft narration, get lost in the director's inexperience, budget constraints, lack of homework, uninterested artistes, flawed screenplay and stupid cinematography, among other things.

Savaal, despite a pleasing performance by Prajwal, falls into this category. A freshly minted lawyer takes up the cudgels for the wronged, making powerful enemies along the way. That they are the reason behind his estran­ge­ment with his family makes a powerful motive. With brain and brawn, the lawyer brings to book each of the culprits. Bringing to mind several mid-to-late 80s films, Savaal suffers mightily from its director's mistakes. For Dhananjay Balaji is also responsible for the story, screenplay and dialogues. Refusing to let go of formulaic notions, the director evokes disgust straightaway. Dissing lecturers who appear weak-willed just reinforces the notion that that youth can do no wrong and people elder to them are only to be tolerated while they seek glory and fame. The value of wisdom born out of experience be damned! When the film rev­o­­lves round lawyers – supposed to be one of the pillars of society – the director could have avoided showing his silliness.

Plus mocking the legal system in a manner that shows the director in poor light, ultimately, doesn’t help the film’s cause. A little homework and attention to details would have strengthened Savaal like no other. It is left to Prajwal Devaraj to shoulder the entire film. Which he does quite well. An interesting actor, Prajwal needs good scripts with interesting roles that allow him to add nuances to his performance.

Dialogues spoil the pleasure of experiencing some harmless fun. Thankfully, that’s not the case with V Manohar’s music, which easily renders itself to the mass and class audience. P K H Das is as good as ever. With incomplete visualisation, even action sequences suffer. Ditto the actors. An actor like Raju Thalik­o­te is made to ham endlessly. Raj Purohith, who showed promise in Kaarthick, has very little screentime here. Shona Chhabra jiggles some but little else. Shobha­raj and Jai Jagadish are wasted, with the former’s drugs-fuelled rages evoking only pity.

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