Even a brilliant Radhika can't save this film

Even a brilliant Radhika can't save this film

Aadi Lakshmi Puraana

Film: Aadi Lakshmi Purana 

Kannada (U/A)

Director: Priya V 

Cast: Radhika Pandit, Nirup Bhandari, Tara

Stars: 2 stars

In the most important scene of Aadi Lakshmi Purana, Aadi (Nirup Bhandari) confesses his love for Lakshmi (Radhika Pandit): "Naan nimna nodi full flat aadhe. Love at first sight antharalva haage."

At a time when filmmakers are showcasing delightful new layers of romance, it is painful to see some movies still hanging on to the jaded concept of 'love at first sight.' For the sheer need of a refreshing experience, one wishes there is a blanket ban on this idea.

This lazy approach seems shocking when you know director Priya V had assisted Mani Ratnam, the master of romance. It's foolish to expect the same brilliance of the teacher from the pupil. But is it wrong to crave for something imaginative, at least?

Aadi Lakshmi Purana has good intentions. It attempts to tell what fat-shaming can do it a person's confidence but the subject doesn't get the attention it deserves. Instead, Priya, in her Kannada directorial debut, focuses more on humour and fails miserably.

Aadi, an undecover cop, falls for Lakshmi. But he is soon dejected to know that she is married. This sets off a series of sequences that are too silly and test your patience after a point. The stereotypical characters only rub salt into the wound. There is the typical protagonist's friend, always at the receiving end of an insulting jibe, and nagging parents who can go to any extent to get their son married.

Priya hardly works on the character arcs of the leads. Had the life of a woman low on confidence due to her inferiority complex and that of an upright officer on a mission been explored better, the film could have provided an engaging drama. A parallel track of a drug mafia just stretches the run-time. The manner in which Aadi solves the case without breaking a sweat is laughable.

Aadi Lakshmi Purana brings Radhika back on the big screen after three years and that's the film's only redeeming feature. She is still the complete performer: effortless in humour and totally in control during intense scenes.

Priya tries to save the film with a conflict in the end. But we see it coming very early on. You can see Mani Ratnam's influence in the railway station scene. Priya even tries to recreate the iconic Alaipayuthe climax. But nothing works.

If someone is being annoying, we say 'sakkappa nin purana,' colloquially in Kannada. For Aadi Lakshmi Purana, there cannot be a better response than that.