An eerie romantic thriller

An eerie romantic thriller

Kannada (A), Cast: Nirup Bhandari, Avantika Shetty, Radhika Chetan, Saikumar, Ananth Velu
Director: Anup Bhandari

Kannada cinema, of late, has been throwing up some interesting and engaging films. If it was Ganapa last week, this week it is RangiTaranga.

Deeply entrenched in Mangalurean milieu and its rich folklore culture and traditions, Anup Bhandari’s RangiTaranga makes for captivating cinema.

Backed by two Hollywood cinematographers, RangiTaranga weaves a mysterious tale, woven around the Bhoota Kola famously known as spirit worship.

The ancient ritual form is prevalent among Tulu-speaking community in Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, and Kodagu districts in the State, as also Kasargod in Kerala, akin to Theyyam. 

While Lance Kaplan and William David capture the verdant and scenic vicissitudes of mountainous ravines and quietly flowing rivers of coastal Mangaluru, as also the famous tea gardens and hills of Ooty, director Anup Bhandari whips up a spine-chilling thriller. 

Right through the film’s first half, Bhandari melds myth and mystery to provide for an eerie plot that keeps the viewers hooked.

The nifty narrative revolves around two strands of stories. One is around Sandhya, a self-styled reporter keen to track the anonymous writer going under the name of Anashku. The other speaks of how a writer Gautam, leading a blissful life with pregnant wife Indu Suvarna in the sylvan Ooty, embarks upon a journey to his wife’s ancestral home in Kamarottu village, in Mangaluru. Their sojourn is a result of the visitations Indu has of a motorbike accident and her fears that the ancestral Bhootas are angry having been ignored.

Sprinkling his suspense saga with red herrings and keeping the audience guessing, Anup Bhandari seamlessly knits the twin sojourns.

Anup Bhandari, who has scored the music, does a competent job providing a welcome classical feel to his songs, so soothing and mellifluous to the ears.

Suffice to say films like RangiTaranga come as whiff of fresh breeze to Sandalwood.

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