Soaring beyond strings of steel

Baanaadi
Kannada (U) ¬¬¬
Director: Nagaraja Kote
Cast: Master Praful Vishwakarma, Dattatreya, Nataranga Rajesh and others

Kishore is a happy lad, content to live with his doting grandfather while dreaming big. He is the topper and darling of his village’s government Kannada medium school. If at all there’s anything lacking, it’s the absence of his parents.

His mother is no more and his father has rarely been seen, busy as he is chasing the Big Dream in America.

Things begin to sour when his father comes home to visit. Shocked at how the boy is “shaping up,” the father enrols him at a private English medium school in Bengaluru before going away...

Baanaadi, based on director Nagaraja Kote’s work “Usiru”, tugs at the conscience, oh so gently. It skims over the surface of displacement, betrayal, bereavement, friendship, gratitude, pain and realisation — that it leaves little room for drama.

Words suffice and the director’s deft work fills in all the gaps, “conveying the message” quite effectively. Baanaadi is not preachy and is clever enough to allow the audience to draw its own conclusion. Helping the script are some confident, yet unsullied
performances by the child artistes and Venkatachala, Yashwanth Kote and Mimicry Gopi while senior and successful actors like Abhinaya, Jayashree Raj, Mohan Juneja, Shringeri Ramanna and others struggle to maintain their normal poise.

Debutant Karthik Sharma’s music sparkles, the songs evoking relevant emotions while not drowning out the senses. Sabha Kumar’s work too enriches the story.
Finally, the trio — Dattanna, Rajesh and Master Praful — give wings to Baanaadi, representing yesterday, today and tomorrow very well.

The climax scene involving Rajesh and Master Praful is profound to say the least. There may be a sense of ennui and incredulity at how things shape up but it answers questions that society brings up. Do watch Baanaadi.

A note of caution to parents here: Break your wards’ hearts at your own peril.

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