Film: Naanu… Nanna Kanasu (Kannada)

Director: Prakash Rai

Cast: Prakash Rai, Achyut Rao, Rajesh, Ramesh Aravind, Amulya and Sitara

The film Naanu… Nanna Kanasu ( I and my dream) not only justifies Prakash Rai's decision to produce, direct and act in this remake of his own Tamil original, Abhiyum Nanum (directed by Radha Mohan) but also infuses a fresh lease of life to quality-starved Kannada cinema.

It has Indianised that Hollywood classic, The Father of the Bride (1950, also remade in 1991), exploring the complex relationship between a parent and his daughter and yes, it roots for the girl child even as it deals with parental responsibilities, the education system, complex cultural issues, and changing notions of what a marriage means.

The narrative is punctuated with comic and tragic undertones as Rai successfully portrays the relationship between the emotional father and his balanced daughter at different junctures of life.

Certainly there is the usual formula but it is offset by an intelligent script and charming use colloquial language to create the mood.

Rai communicates the central plot to an onlooker (Ramesh Aravind), who meets the aging protagonist Uttappa (Rai again).

This device not only sustains audience interest throughout but also succeeds in evoking empathy. In the process, the plot gives interesting insights into the changing father-daughter relationship through the passage of time, particularly before and after she gets married.

It provides glimpses of the uneasy equation between the father and his son-in-law. The father eventually comes to the bitter-sweet realisation that he has to let go.

While Prakash Rai stands out as the director, screenplay-dialogue writer and actor, Achyut Rao as a one-time beggar steals the show.

Others, including music director Hamsalekha, too excel.