Geetha: A timely tribute to Kannada pride

Geetha: A timely tribute to Kannada pride

When Ganesh forayed into the action genre with ‘Bombaat’ and ‘Style King’, it turned out to be disastrous. He stuck to his strength but got labelled as a one-dimensional actor. Vijay Nagendra’s ‘Geetha’ is by far the best attempt at providing one of Kannada cinema’s finest romantic heroes a mass image. Nagendra’s debut flick is a satisfying bridge between mass and romance.

In ‘Geetha’, Ganesh’s anger and his punch dialogues are convincing because one of the two themes of the film requires the angry-young-man image. Geetha’s portions that show the popular Gokak agitation of the 1980s is sure to bring the roof down. Nagendra plays to the gallery and in a commercial film, there is no harm in that approach. It helps that Ganesh isn’t over the top.

The timing of Geetha’s release couldn’t have been better. With language imposition being the burning topic, the film’s focus on preserving Kannada is sure to strike a chord with the viewers. Geetha, in many ways, is an ode to Kannada language and Kannada cinema lovers. There are cleverly placed nods to the legends of Kannada cinema and the cultural richness of the state.

In a Ganesh film, it’s a sin to ignore romance. However, it’s the portrayal of multiple tangled relationships that drags the movie down a bit. The second-half’s narration is inconsistent and the plot moves predictably. Nagendra, at the cost of slowing down the pace, provides heavy yet soulful drama. ‘Geetha’ ends as an epic love story that’s almost convincing.

The female leads are inconsistent in their performances. Shanvi Srivastava, Prayaga Martin and Parvathy Arun aren’t without talent but it appears that they haven’t been pushed to deliver their best. The senior duo of Sudharani and Acyuth Kumar are as solid as ever.

Geetha’s true champion is Ganesh. He breathes life into the two characters he plays. While he is controlled yet effective as an activist,he is better as a lover. His best scenes are the character’s moments of breakdown. He doesn’t speak a word but so much is said.