Varthamana is a brooding take on urban loneliness

Varthamana is a brooding take on urban loneliness

Film: Varthamana

Director: Umesh Amshi

Cast: Sanchari Vijay, Sanjana Prakash

Language: Kannada (U/A)

Rating: Two and a half stars

It is sad to see the career of actor Sanchari Vijay not taking off as expected. After winning the national award for his brilliant performance in 'Nanu Avanalla Avalu', no significant film has come out with him in the lead.

A fine actor starved for good roles, Vijay is taking up whatever is coming his way. This continues with his latest release 'Varthamana,' directed by Umesh Amshi.

'Varthamana' opens with a dream sequence in which protagonist Anant (Sanchari Vijay) is strangled by a group.
The curiosity it creates is short-lived, as you see a series of bizarre, unconnected scenes as the story progresses.

With dreams and reality overlapping, your comprehension is muddled. The director gives no clue about what he intends to say.

Is he inviting the audience to interpret the film? Perhaps. But storytelling needs eventually to tie up at least some of the loose ends. That doesn't happen.

An alternative track has Sameer, going on a killing spree under orders from man called Jackson. Though the stories of Anant and Sameer meet, the merging is unconvincing and inconclusive.

The director's experiments with colour coding of frames, adding to the difficulty of following the narrative, but it is a technique that enhances the atmosphere.

The pace is slow and the dialogue minimal, and the film reflects the dejected loneliness of city dwellers. Anant is constantly searching for a man called Adarsh, identified by his blue shirt and tie. Maybe he is searching for the ideal person within himself. It's all open to interpretation.

The sound design is excellent, with an intelligence use of silence. Sanchari Vijay struggles hard to make sense of the script, but all credit to him for adding heft to it. He conveys the melancholy of the character well.

Sanjana Prakash appears sparingly in a character not so well-etched. The film ends with a hint that we have watched the projections of what was going on inside the mind of a man under intense psychological stress.

Varthamana experiments with content and form, but fails to captivate the audience.

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