Mahira: a near-perfect action thriller

Mahira

Film: Mahira

Rating:4/5

Language: Kannada (U/A)

Cast: Raj B Shetty, Virginia Rodrigues, Chaitra Achar, Balaji Manohar

Director: Mahesh Gowda

Only a few movies can reach perfection or come anywhere near perfection. In Sandalwood, especially, there are only some films that have been both critically acclaimed as well as commercially successful. Even fewer are considered classics in their respective genres. And, some are so exceptionally made that it's hard to find fault in them.

Mahira, by debutant director Mahesh Gowda, ticks all these boxes.

Made with a cast and crew that's mostly new to the tinsel town, Mahira is a class apart as far as Sandalwood is concerned. This action-thriller-drama is on a par with Hollywood in terms of its making.

Mahira tells the story of an undercover agent in an intelligence department. It's about the chase — the chase for survival, for truth and for sacrifice. It's also about a mother and a daughter. 

Mahira's hero is its story. Gowda adopts a non-linear narrative and executes it with perfection. He redefines the very dynamic of a mother-daughter relationship.

Each frame is a visual treat. The many edge-of-the-seat moments in Mahira are admirably balanced by the emotional scenes. The viewers are never let down and are kept hooked to the story, be it with suspense or sentiment. There are murders, not violence. There are bloodstains, not bloodshed.

A stupendous performance by Virginia Rodrigues announces the arrival of an artiste who will be an asset to Sandalwood. 

Chethan D'souza combines elements from three martial arts — karate, judo and Muay Thai — in his stunt choreography, with not a punch seeming unnatural or out of place. Nilima Rao's music is on point, while the background score by Rakesh U P elevates the mood. 

Keertan Pujari's cinematography, Pratap Bhat and Vishwajith Rao's lyrics and Ashik Kusugolli's editing are worth a mention.

The title 'Mahira' is extremely apt for the movie, and you'll need to watch it to know why.

Despite all the positives going for his maiden venture, the director seems to have ignored a few crucial details — for instance, about how Adya was raised, or how an agent can simply storm into a high-security zone and steal a key.

Yet, Mahira is near-perfect in its making and narration, and that's something to cheer about.

At a time when the industry has many directors who prefer to plagiarise content, Mahira signifies why a director must be original.

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