‘Kanteerava’ stale and gory (Kannada Movie Review)

By V.S. Rajapur, IANS
Sunday, January 23, 2011

Film: “Kanteerava”; Cast: Vijay, Shubha Poonja, Rishika Singh, Sreenivasa Murthy, Mukesh Rishi, Rahul Dev, Sadhu Kokila, Ramesh Bhat and others; Director: Tushar Ranganath; Producer: Ram; Composer: Chakri; Camera: Dasari Seenu; Rating: *1/2

The film is a remake of director S.S. Rajamouli’s Telugu blockbuster “Simhadhri” and the makers have used script and narration without changes. So much for the original thinking of Kannada film industry’s top line producer and established director.

Director Tushar Ranganath, also a writer, has not changed anything in the original script. In his film, he has just cast Vijay in a role played by Junior NTR in the original film with elan. The two heroines have same characterisation and the villains, played by Mukesh Rishi and Rahul Dev, wear same costumes and carry the same menacing looks and hairdos.

Does “Kanteerava” succeeded in providing the same entertainment to the audience like the original? The answer is definitely no.

Primarily Ramu and Ranganath made a mistake by going for a remake of “Simhadhri” because NTR’s body language and rhetoric has a close resemblance to his much respected grandfather, legendary actor NTR. There are many sequences in the film which are connected to the larger than life image of the senior NTR who still remains a demi-god to the Telugu film fans.

But Vijay couldn’t establish any sentimental connection with the audience. Ranganath’s narration, which follows the same pattern seen in the original, is another handicap. “Simhadhri” was made at a time when making big action films was popular in the south, but now audiences are tired of action flicks and prefer soft love stories.

There is so much of mayhem, bloodshed in “Kanteerava”. It seems the film has used more artificial blood than any other films released in the past two years. The swords, sickles, axes and other forms of medieval weapons used to kill thousands of people on screen in the film makes you sick.

Apart from the brutality, the state of Kerala is shown as a land of blood thirsty warlords.

There is nothing special in the story.

Kanti or Kanteerava works as henchman for a rich landlord who looks after him as a son. He solves problems of the house. The landlord’s young daughter Kasthuri has a crush on him. Kanti takes a trip to Kerala to solve a family problem of his trusted landlord. There he meets Indu, a mentally retarded girl who needs his protection.

Kanti is seen in a different avatar in Singamalai in Kerala when he wipes out all the villains in one go. Meanwhile, Indu recovers from her mental illness and tries to kill Kanti. Finally, the mystery surrounding Indu and the reasons behind Kanti’s soft corner for her is revealed.

Vijay is certainly not a match to the histrionics or charisma of the younger NTR, though he seems to have worked hard in the action sequences. Rishika Singh is good, but Shubha Poonja has not matched the requirements of the role.

Bhoomika was really good in the original film.

The comedy sequences of Vijay, Mandya Ramesh and Sadhu Kokila evoke laughter.

Nothing much to say about the contribution made by two Bollywood baddies - Mukesh Rishi and Rahul Dev - or the other veteran artists who are monotonous on screen.

Chakri’s music is another negative factor. Dasari Sreenivasa Rao’s photography is above average.

If you plan to watch “Kanteerava”, be prepared for a violent and sickening experience.

Filed under: Bollywood, Movies

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