Engaging portrait of a philosopher

Engaging portrait of a philosopher

Kannada (U) ¬¬¬¬
Cast: Dhananjaya, Meghana Raj, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Sanchari Vijay, Ramakrishna,Tousheer, Mico Manju
Director: T S Nagabharana

Kudos to Nagabharana for taking a trail less trodden. In these days of formulaic trash, he brings a sense of sanity with the sensitively scripted Allama, taking audiences
on a philosophic and poetic sojourn.

Nagabharana brings onto celluloid the life and times of 12th century saint, mystic poet and philosopher Allama, who staunchly opposed any form of symbolism, conventional system and ritualistic practices, through cryptic sayings and poems, rich in paradoxes and inversions.

The musical biopic centres around the vachanas and teachings of the revered icon, who used poetry to censure rituals and break down social barriers. It is an engaging,
educative watch.
The film faithfully captures the quintessential quality of the rebellious philosopher-poet’s obsessions — maddales, dance, failures... His quest for knowledge leads him to question several social practices and fight for the rights of lesser mortals.

The film charts the life of Allama, born to temple dancer Neelalochane and maddale (percussion instrument) player, and details how he spurns the advances of dancer-courtesan Maya Devi. It also speaks of how, firm in his resolve to attain an exalted status to become one with nature, he braves several hurdles that come his way.

Nagabharana, the national award winner who earlier brought to celluloid another of Karnataka’s saint, poet, philosopher and social reformer of 19th century Shishunala Sharifa, proves that his forte is such historical subjects.

Shot in Balligave, Banavasi, Bandalike, Keladi, Bhoga Nandishwara, and the forest range of Kanakapura, Allama is enriched with the performances of Dhananjaya (titular role) and Meghana Raj.

Likewise danseuse Lakshmi Gopalaswamy covets you with her emotive performance as Allama’s mother.  Cinematographer G S Bhaskar’s rich visuals and Bapu Padmanabha’s (disciple of flautist Hariprasad Chauraisa) evocative, haunting scores, add to the experience.
Allama makes for a soulful, meaningful weekend watch with family.