‘Moorane Krishnappa’ movie review: A fantastic rural comedy with Rangayana Raghu and Sampath Maitreya in great form

With its quirky, relatable comedy powered by gifted actors, Naveen Narayanaghatta’s ‘Moorane Krishnappa’ is a delightful watch from start to finish

Updated - May 24, 2024 03:52 pm IST

Published - May 24, 2024 03:28 pm IST

Sampath Maitreya (left) and Rangayana Raghu in ‘Moorane Krishnappa’

Sampath Maitreya (left) and Rangayana Raghu in ‘Moorane Krishnappa’ | Photo Credit: Anand Audio/YouTube

Some comedy films get misunderstood, while many are just terrible, with actors on-screen having a lot of fun while people watching them scratch their heads, wondering what’s so funny. Naveen Narayanaghatta’s Moorane Krishnappa is a hilarious film that never takes the audience for granted. The quirky, relatable comedy, helped by a controlled screenplay and actors with great comic timing, is a welcome change in the Kannada film industry, which often stereotypically portrays rural stories.

Veeranna (Rangayana Raghu), the gram panchayat head in a village near Anekal taluk, is set to contest for elections again. His trick to win votes is to invite a celebrity to inaugurate a newly-built temple in the village. But the scheme takes a hit when a famous comedian, who was supposed to attend the inauguration, dies of heart attack a week before the event.

Moorane Krishnappa (Kannada)
Director: Naveen Narayanaghatta
Cast: Rangayana Raghu, Sampath Maitreya, Tukali Santhosh, Sripriya, Uggram Manju
Runtime: 140 minutes
Storyline: A panchayat heads wants to invite a famous person to inaugurate a newly-built temple. When the chief minister himself confirms his presence, the villagers are thrilled. Will the CM really make it?

A helpless Veeranna seeks the help of Krishnappa (Sampath Maitreya), a mathematics teacher at a government school. Krishnappa, to everyone’s surprise, promises to bring the state’s chief minister to the event after talking to his influential friend from Bengaluru. The series of events which follow, while people wait to see the CM in anticipation, form a breezy, rip-roaringly funny first half. 

Sampath Maitreya and Tukali Santhosh in ‘Moorane Krishnappa’

Sampath Maitreya and Tukali Santhosh in ‘Moorane Krishnappa’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The characters in the film talk and behave as if they belong to the village (perhaps some of them are locals), enhancing the rural flavour of the story; neither the dialect nor the silly yet endearing episodes appear out of place. The comedy is so consistent in Moorane Krishnappa that we soon realise after two serious scenes, the third will generate big laughs. A funeral scene is turned on its head to produce hilarious moments, while Veeranna’s practice session to learn how to greet the chief minister leaves you in splits. Even a couple of other random scenes, only included to increase the film’s humour quotient, are written with great wit. 

The film’s charisma also lies in its quirky ideas. Throughout the film, we listen to the hilarious mind voice of one of Veeranna’s yes-men, who often gets sidelined by Veeranna. Ugramm Manju plays Veeranna’s opponent candidate for the elections, but he is too busy sleeping with different women with whom he struggles to communicate as they can’t speak Kannada. Sampath, playing an unassertive and honest man who finds redemption in the end, makes you root for him. Meanwhile, Rangayana Raghu is in superb control over his dialect, dialogue delivery, and mannerisms, delivering an acting masterclass.

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A deftly-handed love story between Krishnappa and Veeranna’s daughter (Sripriya with a measured performance) lends nice balance to a comedy-heavy plot. The poignant moments between the couple linger on thanks to the beautiful score from Anand Rajavikram and Suprith Sharma. Yogi’s rich cinematography enhances the film’s mood and not once makes us think about the film’s shoestring budget.

Moorane Krishnappa becomes a tad predictable in the second half, and its portrayal of Bengaluru through the eyes of an outsider (Krishnappa) could have been more practical. Krishnappa comes to Bengaluru with several assumptions, and he isn’t willing to learn or exhibit curiosity to understand the big city. The film bats for good governance, and despite its slight tonal shift while conveying the message, we give in, for Moorane Krishnappa is a film with a big heart.

Moorane Krishnappa is currently running in theatres

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