'Kalidasa Kannada..': Dissecting ills of edu system

'Kalidasa Kannada..': Dissecting ills of edu system

Understandably, the movie encounters the trouble of changing focus too fast as it is ambitious in its coverage of the problems that afflict our education system and political will.

Film: Kalidasa Kannada Mestru

Kannada (U)

Director: Kaviraj 

Cast: Jaggesh, Meghana Goankar, Usha Bhandary, Tabla Nani, Usha Bhandary 

Rating: 3.5/5  

 

Kalidasa Kannada Mestru takes on the tough task of exploring the pressing concern of education inequity and cut-throat competition. 

Jaggesh plays Kalidasa, a middle-aged teacher passionate about his work and who intends to give the best to his students.

The director does a good job in weaving two parallel narratives of different exposures to education — one with Kalidasa’s son, Rajath, who goes to a convent school and has privileged access to quality education, courtesy of his mother’s insistence on getting him a private school education; the other of the lives of Kalidasa’s poor students who cannot afford to go to any other school.  

But his students are spunky, street-smart, and balance the serious topic with much-needed comic relief.

In the first half, Jaggesh, as expected, chimes in with his signature mimed gags, but later turns into a saviour who is tortured by a rotting system that affects both his personal and professional lives.

Understandably, the movie encounters the trouble of changing focus too fast as it is ambitious in its coverage of the problems that afflict our education system and political will. Its most touching message, however, comes from Rajath who captures the simple desires of childhood — of playing, of flying a kite, of catching butterflies and making friends. After all, our childhoods are fleeting and we have the rest of our lives to be adults, exposing a very Catcher-in-the-Rye-esque idea of the need to preserve innocence.

The movie is a good attempt to discuss the serious problem of accessibility and lack thereof, and our responsibility in keeping children’s dreams alive.