Film: Raj (Kannada)
Cast: Puneet Rajkumar, Kishore, Adi Lokesh, and Priyanka Kothari
Insured under the brand name “Raj”, Director Prem’s film “Raj - The Showman” attempts to explore the possibilities of ensuring commercial stability for Kannada cinema in the face of competition from non-Kannada films more through technicalities than thematic potential. The much-publicised film was released in over 120 centres across the State and over 10 foreign countries, including the U.K. and the U.S., on Friday. It subtly employs the original name, family stature and celluloid image of the thespian of Kannada cinema, the late Rajkumar, and brief appearances by heroines of yesteryear Jayanthi, Bharathi, Jaimala, Jayaprada and Urvashi who played opposite the late matinee idol in many films.
The plot has shades of many classical, commercial and parallel cinemas. However, the narrative pace and technique, clever screenplay, slick editing, exploitation of historical ruins and monuments, imposing photography, mind-boggling stunt sequences and measured emotional drama help the film sustain audience interest. The film attempts to expose the politics of cinema and the plight and struggle by talented individuals who do not have the money or family connections to realise their ambitions.
K.N. VENKATASUBBA RAO