Maduve Mane (Kannada)

Cast: Ganesh, Shraddha Arya, Chiranth (Jugari Avinash), Sharan, Hanumanthe Gowda, Tabla Nani, Aravind,

Director: Sunil Kumar Singh

Considering his sure hand, it is difficult to believe Maduve Mane is Sunilkumar Singh's debut.

It's a totally fresh entertainer with all the ingredients of a commercial blockbuster. It's a love story that scrupulously avoids the usual beaten-to-death route. There's a lot of suspense, comedy and edge-of-the seat moments, keeping the viewer — jaded by tiresome remakes — intensely involved in the characters' actions and fate.

With his tight narration, Sunil Kumar, essentially a TV serial director, knows how to keep the audience hooked. The inspiration is the Ramayana but with interesting tweaks.

He infuses qualities of Ravana in Rama and vice-versa. Like the humiliation of Shoorpanakha resulting in Ravana abducting Seeta, here the protagonist Sooraj (Ganesh) kidnaps Suma (Shraddha Arya) to avenge the murder of his sister Preethi (Spoorthi). Suma is already engaged to Dushyanth (Chiranth), a police officer and Sooraj tries to win her heart before Dushyanth tracks him down.

The director finally reveals why Sooraj kidnapped Suma.

The film might help Ganesh recover the ground he lost, no thanks to Kool. He does win audience sympathy but far less amusing is the reason for his turning to kidnap. The director should have put in a bit more effort here.

Shraddha Arya looks good but can't act to save her life. Chiranth of Jugari makes a real impact as the anti-hero. The comedy is refreshing and credit should go to Sharan and Tabla Nani.

The character actors, most of them from television, are competent.

Manikanth Kadri's music, and Shekar Chandru's camera work are added attractions. The Western Ghats locales are a treat.

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Kannada Cinema ReviewsNovember 6, 2011