‘Dia’ is a pleasing feel-good romance drama

Dia review: A pleasing, feel-good romance drama

Director K S Ashoka is not one to shy away from a gamble. He had bravely chosen to debut with the ‘found footage’ horror movie ‘6-5=2’ in 2013, which was a hit.

Dia

A romantic drama is a risky genre in Kannada cinema as the industry is a little too happy with thrillers. 

When the Telugu industry faced a similar prejudice favouring mindless masala movies, they slowly developed a crop of realistic romantic dramas in response. Sandalwood is yet to embrace such a paradigm shift.

Director K S Ashoka is not one to shy away from a gamble. He had bravely chosen to debut with the ‘found footage’ horror movie ‘6-5=2’ in 2013, which was a hit.

The director experiments with ‘Dia’ too. Ashoka works hard on the treatment of the genre, rather than focus on its typical features.

Unusually for a Kannada film, it’s the girl in the movie who is eager to express her feelings for the guy, rather than the other way around.

The customary meet-cute thankfully gives a sense of ease to the viewers, and the characters’ feelings are portrayed with maturity.

Dia is a feel-good film that remains compact, with the story sticking to the main characters without meandering to annoying friends of the hero or an unnecessarily stuck-up ‘father of the girl’.

I wasn’t sure why the angle of the ‘mother sentiment’ was used, but at least it was handled some grace.  

Of course, ‘Dia’ has scenes that work only in Ashoka’s head. The voice-overs lack strength, while the dialogues are strained and the plot is largely predictable.

The performance of Kushee, the female lead is a weak link, while her dialogue-delivery is frustrating  — it would be wise to remember that portraying an introverted character is not the same as portraying a lifeless one.

Deekshith Shetty plays his role just about right while Pruthvee Ambaar is a revelation.

Ajaneesh Lokanath’s soulful score is the biggest plus point of the film, and will continue to haunt the viewer even after the movie is done.

Hopefully, Dia paves the way for more romantic movies of the sort. The Valentine week is set to be ruled by the likes of ‘World Famous Lover’ and ‘Love Aaj Kal’ but this a movie that deserves to stay and be watched.

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