Puksatte Lifu review: An enjoyable comedy thriller

Puksatte Lifu review: An enjoyable comedy thriller

Pukksatte Lifu

Kannada (Theatres)

Director: Arvind Kuplikar

Cast: Sanchari Vijay, Matangi Prasan, Achyuth Kumar

Rating: 3.5/5

Close your eyes and think of a recent small-scale Indian film that left you with a pleasant surprise courtesy of an unusual story, colourful characters, and real locations. One can’t blame you if you visualised a Malayalam film. The industry has mesmerised us with such small gems for quite some time now.

‘Pukksatte Lifu’ has the aforementioned features but no, for a change, it’s not a Malayalam film. This is an enjoyable and engaging Kannada comedy-thriller from Arvind Kuplikar, who makes a roaring debut as a director. The Kannada film stars Sanchari Vijay, who passed away at 38 in a bike accident in June this year.

Shahjahan (Vijay) is an honest locksmith with great experience and special tricks. A bunch of fraudulent policemen drag him to be their accomplice as they commit a series of robberies.

Predictably, the powerful always prey on the powerless. But both have to eventually pay for their crimes. Just that underprivileged like Shahjahan end up facing big consequences.

It’s a brave call from the director to show the policemen as thieves. However, in cinema, all kinds of stories must be told and there is no denying some elements of truth in ‘Puksatte Lifu’. To his credit, Kuplikar, in the end, organically avoids generalising the attitude of the policemen.

The screenplay in the second half should have been tighter. What keeps our attention is the ever-dependable Rangayana Raghu. The film wants to say ‘nothing comes free in life'. How Kuplikar conveys this is laudable.

'Puksatte Lifu' is devoid of needless melodrama and message-heavy dialogues. Even the policemen, who think of quick bucks to provide their children a better lifestyle, don't come across as villains with clichéd traits. This is a straightforward film with hilarious one-liners having philosophical undertones. Advaitha Gurumurthy’s brilliant frames offer a realistic and minimalistic touch to the film.

Sanchari Vijay delivers a moving performance. It's a pity that the industry cannot have more of his talent. Achyuth Kumar, as the corrupt cop, is undoubtedly the best performer. He is sure to leave you in splits in several scenes. ‘Puksatte Lifu’ is filled with colourful characters backed by fine performers.

Save an ‘Ikkat’, the Kannada industry has been bereft of quality films for over six months now. If you are tired of lamenting the poor presence of Kannada in the OTT space, go watch ‘Puksatte Lifu’ as content-oriented films need maximum encouragement.

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