Crumbling motives of a perfect crime

Crumbling motives of a perfect crime

Crumbling motives of a perfect crime

Ulidavaru Kandanthe

Kannada (U/A) ***

Director: Rakshit Shetty

Cast: Rakshit Shetty, Sheetal Shetty, Achyut Kumar, Kishore, Tara, Yagna Shetty

Another promising week on the big screen, with one film overshadowing the other two. It is heartening to see fresh directors not giving up in the face of the relentless onslaught of shoddy fare soaked in formula and growing clamour for dubbed substances.

They are pushing the envelope, teasing and drawing out the audience from their cynical shell. The latest such attempt is Ulidavaru Kandanthe, by Rakshit Shetty, discovered by Aravind Kaushik in Tuglak and who found widespread commercial acceptance with Suni's Simpleaag Ond Love Story.  

A quaint village on the cusp of townhood. People whose thoughts and actions are both simple and profound simultaneously. Bootai (sardine), Bangade (mackerel) and Kane fish, freshly brought from a sea that's largely clean and appealing. A Malpe that's not scorching but inviting. An idyll that begs a perfect crime. 

And Rakshit obliges. Serving an authentic slice of Dakshina Kannada way of life that has been largely spoofed till now, the director weaves in all the cultural icons into a story that's quite taut and well-narrated for a debutant. 

Rakshit as an actor hid his abilities well only to surprise with his directing skills here. Case in point: the “Mensin paper” song which gives momentum to an otherwise seemingly sluggish plot (but hey, the coastal area, far removed from crass commercial interference in daily life is laidback afterall). 

His characters too are as fleshed-out as possible. Munna Kishore, Sharada Yagna Shetty, Mother Tara, Raghu Rishab Shetty, Balu Achyut Kumar and the child artistes all give pleasing performances.

The use of romance and mother-son sentiment is incidental, with the former gaining importance later on. A word of suggestion though. Using subtitles for EACH sentence uttered in Tulu/Kodava/Konkani would help immensely.

Rakshit pays tribute to all-time favourites Scarface Al Pacino and later Agneepath Bachchan, with his Richie and the all time classic Roshomon throughout. The arrogant, yet innocent swagger is something to look at. Usage of the Huli Vesha is also exemplary. 

Complementing his vision are cinematographer Karan Chawla and sound engineer Renjith Viswanathan whose work goes largely unnoticed, thanks to overenthusiastic, first-day-first-show, scream-at-anything and everything-audience. 

Ajaneesh Lokanath blooms well, his music adding power to Rakshit's story while telling some of its own. Sachin's colouring and editing too deserve kudos. Ulidavaru Kandanthe is a fine effort by a debutant. May the tribe increase.

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