Resurrecting Kempegowda to right a wrong

Bengaluru is bleeding with repeated and brazen assaults by the land mafia even as authorities bear mute witness.

A don, a minister and their henchmen try to grab the Kempambudhi lake bed for a casino. They hoodwink a group of conscientious citizens, getting the granddaughter of a respected builder in the group to ink an agreement to build the casino. Their cause is helped by her feud with a “coolie” who has her family's backing.

Things come to a head and the bad guys are about to break ground on the lake bed when lo! a sword lands amidst them, spoiling their plan.

What follows is annihilation of a goodly portion of Bengaluru’s underworld, striking fear in the hearts of the BDA commissioner, the BBMP members and even Kelly Dorjee, who looks more menacing than other recent villain imports. And yes, there’s also the meeting between the coolie and Nadaprabhu Kempegowda himself, the Rebel Star looking every inch this city’s founder a little past his prime.

Kudos to Chinthan and Sukhadhare for the “novel” plot which sustains interest... till Priyamani is bound a la Anna Bond and has to be rescued by coolieman Darshan. Bloopers add to the entertainment like a woman in Kempegowda’s time queuing up to receive his largesse with her hair tied up with a broad plastic clip! More tellingly, when the buried-alive Darshan bursts out holding the sword, not a single hair on his head has a single grain of mud while the rest of his body is not muddy enough to cake his wounds!

The duel between Priyamani and Rachita has drama which fizzles out soon. The latter’s character soon becomes disappointingly minuscule. Priyamani though gets a better deal, but not by much.

Rajendra Karant, Ravi Kale, Sadashiva Brahmavar and others join the wasted list while Sharath Lohitashwa, Uday and Loki try their best to snarl and snap. Chinthan’s dialogues sustain the script but Darshan’s fans drown out the words. Watching Ambarisha brings to mind Bangarada Manushya and Jayathirtha’s Tony. The Rajkumar classic for the way it transformed the lives of thousands, thereby fulfilling one of cinema’s critical functions. Tony, for the way the director loses his way in trying to combine a beautiful concept with commercial requirements.

With Ambarisha, Darshan stakes claim to the Rebel Star’s legacy, just like Dwarkish and Sudeep “appropriated” Vishnuvardhan’s. Meanwhile, a practical solution to end encroachment remains elusive. As always.


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