The dicey game of life never stops

The dicey game of life never stops

Endhendu Ninagaagi
Kannada (U/A) ¬¬¬
Director: Mahesh Rao
Cast: Vivek, Deepa Sannidhi, Anish Tejeshwar, Sindhu Lokanath and others

First, congratulations to Mahesh Rao and K D Venkatesh. They appear to have effectively implemented one of the objective-functions of cinema – entertaining while conveying socially relevant messages.

Take the scenes involving the horrible highway accident, its immediate aftermath and subsequent surfeit of emotions. The duo better the government intent of educating the masses on the peril of rash driving, with an almost rendering of the mess.

Two private buses plying on the highway end up smashing against each other. The ensuing spectacle is both fascinating, terrifying and mortifying.

Even as the broken pieces of fibreglass, glass, plastic, rubber fly in all directions, turning deadly missiles of destruction to several passengers, the story of a few of them unfolds. Travelling to and fro, the story brings the audience to the climax which is expected yet all the more horrifying to bear for the sensitive.

There’s a newly married husband who’s unwilling to let his wife travel alone, there’s a father who’s coming to meet his five-year-old daughter for the first time with a bagful of toys, there are a couple of college students who somehow connect, a girl and guy who go in search of their loved ones, lovers who are about to meet the parents.... Much like ships, planes and trains, the buses denote different components of life, without seeming to do so.

Only a couple of stories – of the two lead pairs – get more screen space. Among the four youngsters, it is Vivek who catches the eye. Playing crow to Deepa’s cat, Vivek initially irritates with his weak lip movements and a fixed grin. He has some way to go yet. To his credit, Deepa seems to trip in places, playing the brash and practical girl whose world comes crashing most unexpectedly. Anish and Sindhu make up the quartet very well with little affectation. Theirs is the most normal of stories in terms of script and performance. Something to watch out for.

Sadly, for those who have watched Engaeyum Eppothum, Endhendu Ninagaagi may not suit the palate. Plus, the plot evades logic when a severely bleeding person is allowed into the ICU – supposedly one of the layers insulating patients from life-threatening infections.

Endhendu Ninagaagi lags where speed is required and races where viewer is trying to make sense of what’s just occurred, leaving him/her a bit confused.

All said and done, Endhendu Ninagaagi stands out for its non-government sponsored, realistic depiction of the horrible effects of split second decisions, judgment errors, etc. A pat on the back of the director wouldn’t be out of place, just for this.

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