Holding a mirror to the malaise of capital punishment

Holding a mirror to the malaise  of capital punishment

Haggada Kone
Kannada (U/A) ¬¬¬¬
Director: Dayal Padmanabhan
Cast: Naveen Krishna, Suchendra Prasad, Manohar, Dattatereya, Sihikahi, Geetha, Sarigama Viji, Raju Mysore

Every once a while comes a cinema to reaffirm that meaningful films, and those that believe in them, exist. One such is Haggada Kone, a delectable art house cinema that discerning audiences endlessly wait for. We must salute Dayal Padmanabhan, who has eschewed all commercial calling, to helm a film which he, and those that grace it, would be truly proud of.

Taking inspiration from the late Kannada playwright Parvathavani’s eponymous play, Padmanabhan’s film is also an ode to Karnataka’s prominent theatre activist, while, holding a mirror to the contentious issue of capital punishment and its efficaciousness in ridding society of crimes.

Spotlighting on the subject through ruminations of Channakeshava, a thief-turned-murderer who is soon to be hanged, the film makes a scathing indictment of the long-held practice. It also touches upon the failure of society to understand the psyche of the felon, as also its failings in adopting an empathetic approach could prevent crimes.

The film’s only fault is it does not move away from prison walls, where the entire drama is played out, teasing audiences’ attention.

Despite poor cinematic qualities, Haggada Kone deserves appreciation as also Padmanabhan for his bold experiment, and is a must-see for those who believe in meaningful movies with aesthetic appeal.

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