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Monument of love

S. SHIVA KUMAR
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SHORT TAKES Prem is a revelation in Charminar. His performance is remarkably restrained, yet effective

IT causes a real traffic snarlRavichandran’s busy with the shooting of his new film, TrafficPhoto: Murali Kumar K.
IT causes a real traffic snarlRavichandran’s busy with the shooting of his new film, TrafficPhoto: Murali Kumar K.

‘Inspired by a real story’ is a tagline that’s always enticing. It could be a love story, a heist or about a bandit. A love story fascinates filmmakers because viewers easily identify with it, has more scope for drama and there is room for liberal emotional garnishing. A couple unable to confess love makes for compelling viewing because you have to wait for the final frames to find out if they unite or it remains unrequited. A well-made love story can cut through caste, creed and draw audiences of any age.

R. Chandru makes a reasonably good film though you feel it could have been much better. It’s a very good film if you compare it with anything that’s been recently released in Kannada and I think that should be the yardstick. I wasn’t impressed much by any of his earlier films but in ‘Charminar’ his sincerity is endearing even at the cost of the narrative getting long winding. He does not deviate from the basic plot and thankfully there are no unnecessary asides. There is nothing new here, but then there are only so many interpretations to a love story. It’s only the milieu of the protagonists that keeps changing. There are glaring inconsistencies for a film based on a true story. The timeline is confusing and a film director narrating the entire script to the press on the day of the ‘muhurath’ is silly. The hero is made the CEO of a company just a month after he’s hired. The director seems to take vicarious pleasure in having a white girl wiping the stairs of hero’s American home. Hero’s father, a shepherd claims to be earning much more than the teacher tutoring his son but the family seems to be in a perpetual state of penury. A ‘dream song’ can definitely be mercilessly snipped. You overlook many such small things because Chandru makes the film emotionally engaging. The positives in the film definitely outweigh the negative. A director has succeeded when he can make you laugh and is also able to bring a lump to your throat without being corny. Chandru’s handling of actors is impressive especially the fact that he’s restrained the irrepressible Rangayana Raghu. ‘Nenepirali’ Prem is a revelation. His is a remarkably restrained yet effective performance. Meghana emotes impressively but her dubbing leaves a lot to be desired. A couple of songs tuned by newcomer Hari are easy on the ears. The same cannot be said about Guru Kiran’s background score. Chandrashekar’s cinematography is easy on the eye but for the wide angle lens he chooses to shoot close ups.

‘Charminar’ is definitely the most watchable Kannada film in recent times. Now we have to wait and wonder which tomb Chandru will name his next film after.

***

There is a throng on the usually deserted stretch of road that bypasses Mysore on the way to Ooty.

It’s not another accident but onlookers craning to get a glimpse of Ravichandran shooting ‘Crazy Star’. He’s donning the director’s hat today though he stars in the film. The sun is beating down, but Ravi doesn’t call for a lunch break, eager to wrap up this slightly delayed film. It’s the remake of the successful Malayalam film, ‘Traffic’ of course with Ravi making suitable changes.

There is a traffic snarl as one portion of the wide road is cordoned off. In this sequence a donor’s heart is being transported to save the hero’s daughter.

Ravi plays a superstar with Priyanka as his wife. “I’m very confident about this film’s success,” says a tired looking Ravi. I want to ask him about the much delayed ‘Manjina Hani’ but he’s not just the hero who can take a break after a break.

He finishes a shot, promises a lengthy tryst when he’s back in Bangalore and drives off in search of a new location.

S. SHIVA KUMAR

sshivu@yahoo.com


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