Suman Ranganath, Harish Raj and Radhika in the film Kalakaar

This ‘Kalakaar’ reacquaints the audience with an honest look at the underbelly of the film industry. Debutant director Harish Raj, a sensitive actor himself, brings the same sensitivity to his screenplay and manages to engage viewer attention. He sets a cracking pace with the intermission coming as a surprise, with little story development. Post-interval comes a tale oft-told - ‘Rangeela’ unfolds on the screen. Still, Harish brings out the struggles of an aspiring actor and the ruthless manipulations in the industry quite well.

But the unexpected climax dilutes the impact of the film. 

Cinematographer H M Ramachandra does a good job. So does debutant composer Giridhar Dewan. The dialogues are effective in their placement. The director gets his casting correct except for Sudha Narasimharaju, seen after a long time but doing very little. Harish, the Kamal Hassan fan apes his idol - the scenes involving Roma (Harish in a sari!) are screamers. Suman Ranganath is a treat to watch with her husky voice combining with apt expressions. Radhika should leave films to sister Pooja Gandhi.

All in all, a touch of ‘Rangeela’ here and a whiff of ‘Luck by chance’ there, do not harm ‘Kalakaar’ much.