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A successful portrayal of conflicting cultures

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TEENAGE LOVE: Diganth and Janu in Miss California
TEENAGE LOVE: Diganth and Janu in Miss California

Miss California (Kannada)

Director: Kodlu Ramakrishna

Cast: Sharath Babu, H.G. Dattatreya, Swastik Shankar, Diganth, Jayanthi, Gita, Jayalakshmi, Bhavya, Janu and Sowmya

Known for his dexterity in adapting novels to the screen, director Kodlu Ramakrishna successfully presents Miss California based on C.N. Mukta's novel "Megha Mandara" on the theme of cultural alienation and closeness.

The film is about emotional entanglements in a family with subplots of family reunion and the fascination and complexities of teenage love. But it gains an emotional tone once it sets out to understand incompatible social and family customs, traditions and values practised in India and in the U.S., and the common human qualities rising above geographical contours. Ramakrishna's strength lies in posing probing cultural questions in the process of knitting the screenplay, which blossoms naturally as the theme progresses. Sensible dialogues by Sathymurthy Anandoor add value to the film. An expression of resignation by Gurprasad (Sharath Babu), a San Francisco-based NRI doctor, who says, " Do you think I am happy in America? Now I prefer an emotionally tranquil life to the life of material comforts?" stands testimony to the quality of the dialogues.

The film's efforts to present the American cultural ethos in English and in a realistic manner deserve attention.

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