Agatha’s ashirvada

Agatha’s ashirvada

Shivaji Suratkal: The case of Ranagiri Rahasya
Cast: Ramesh Aravind, Radhika Narayan
Director: Akash Srivatsa
Language: Kannada  (U/A)
Rating: 3/5

Let’s experiment: Fit Sherlock’s brain inside a South Indian’s body and add extra crime-solving features of Hercule Poirot.

Feature this sample in a scenic location and he will sniff a crime out of thin air.

Wish every crime department has a sample like Shivaji Suratkal (Ramesh Arvind).

The home minister’s son is killed in cold blood at a resort in Ranagiri and the high profile case is allotted to the police department’s very own Sherlock, Shivaji, who solves cases even as a personal loss has afflicted the man with depression. 

P.S. For this Sherlock, there is a Watson too.

The editing is immersive and the plot is lucid and deftly layered switching between the case at hand and the one that has put Shivaji in his present state. Arvind embodies a comic mannerism and his quick strides remind us of Rajinikanth in “Shivaji the Boss” while the rest of the crew are moving bodies with a radar of suspicion hanging above them.

Comedy is subtly introduced without sound queues, which is a welcome step. Dear industry, please take note of this.

Though songs are included they are weaved into the plot, which in business negotiations, one would say “neither yours not mine”.

The film is shot in exquisite locations in Mysore and Madikeri that bring out the right eeriness to the thriller, inspired by Agatha Christie’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ — Agatha must be turning and showing the Shikhara Mudra in her grave.

That said, there are stories that are ideal for films and other for a series, Shjivaji Suratkal falls in the latter category. It does add the Indian element and authenticity to the plot but needs an out-of-the-box climax— if it was done this could have been the film that could have caught a global limelight. Nevertheless, it occupies the position of being the first Kannada film to have successfully put forth a detective movie without going astray on the protagonist’s playboy chronicles.

So, if you are fan of crime thrillers with a desi touch... oops, more precisely a Kannada touch, Shivaji Suratkal is the man to watch out for.

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