A rousing call to citizens

Film reviews

A rousing call to citizens

Chowka                             
Kannada (U/A) Cast: Prem, Vijay Raghavendra, Prajwal Devaraj, Diganth, Priyamani, Bhavana Menon, Aindrita Ray, Deepa Sannidhi
Director: Tharun Sudhir

Despite its three-hour-plus running time, Dwarakish Production’s 50th film makes for an entertaining watch. The film is dedicated to all dads of the world.

Debutant Tharun Sudhir delivers a dhamaka of a movie. The neatly packaged Chowka makes a clarion call to citizens to take responsibility, and not be bystanders, to stem the rot in the country. The film could have been compact had it not indulged in a build-up for actor Darshan in a cameo, and snipped the long-drawn sequences.

The film narrates four strands of stories, knit by the common thread of love and romance, drawn from different years and different parts of the state. The 1986 story, set in the Bengaluru of yore, speaks of Hakki Gopala, a pigeon trainer who aspires to be a notorious rowdy, and his amour Pushpa. The second one, set in 1995 in Mysuru, speaks of eternal flirt Krishna Rao who tries to get fresh with Maria D’Souza, whose husband Alex is away in Middle East. The other story set in 2000, in Mangaluru, speaks of the rich-poor divide between a flamboyant Surya Shetty and Bhoomika, while the fourth is set in 2007, in Vijayapura, and is about the romance between tourist guide Mohammed Anwar and Hindu girl Gowri.

The common narrator-friend is Manjunath, played gloriously by comedian Chikkanna, whose alter ego chides and taunts him when he tries to lead his friends in the wrong way. Knit within this quartet is a fifth tale — that of father-teacher Viswanath imprisoned in Ballari jail on charges of molesting and murdering his daughter Ramya, set in 2017.

The film, which boasts of five music directors, five lyricists, five cinematographers, five art directors and five dialogue writers, neither loses its plot nor its larger social purpose which it delivers with panache.

Each technical team leaves its indelible imprint. The film climaxes in Ballari jail where the four protagonists are interned following their arrests, and thereafter at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, Belagavi. Veteran actor-director Kashinath, as the maligned father, does a commendable job as the pivot for the foursome’s escape from jail and bringing to book the corrupt Finance Minister played by Avinash.
A worthy weekend watch for family.

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