Reviews

Patharagitti: Getting the message wrong

Patharagitti (Kannada )

Director: K. Eeshwar

Cast: Prajju Poovaiah, Srikanth

If a filmmaker wants to send out a message to his audience through his film, the least he can do is get the message right, if not say it well.

Patharagitti condemns crimes against women, especially rape. However, the portrayal of the issue and the resolutions the film suggests are so outrageously regressive and deeply problematic in themselves that forget rape, one is invited to take umbrage with the film itself.

It is love at first sight for Akash, a flower shop owner, and Bhoomi, who works in an electronics shop opposite his. He asks Bhoomi to marry him (barely two minutes into the film) but she says no. However, observing his persistent visits and stalker tendencies, she decides to teach him a lesson.

She lies to him that she loves him too and goes out with him on dates. Soon, Akash realises the truth and attempts to persuade an uninterested Bhoomi to marry him. She slaps him.

Cut to a scene where Bhoomi’s family is frantically searching for Akash to kill him. The allegation is that he raped her. Akash then finds out the truth: that Bhoomi’s colleagues (who are serial rapists) raped her because Bhoomi spoke to them about men and women being equal. These men had earlier raped another woman because she had many lovers and she was not faithful to any of them.

Akash then not only helps Bhoomi recuperate, tells her brothers the truth, and also tracks the rapists down. Finally, in a heinous and criminal solution, Bhoomi’s brothers and he take the rapists to a forest and burn them alive.

Next, Bhoomi feels that since Akash is still eager to marry her, despite the rape, she should agree. But, she thinks Akash is better off without a girl like her who will ‘spoil’ his life. Ultimately, at the end of a long, boring sequence that even has two random passersby persuading Bhoomi to marry Akash, she walks up to him, falls at his feet and then marries him.

The plot is screaming with problems and here’s why: Bhoomi is ultimately convinced to marry the stalker she said no to initially, only because she is raped and he still likes her.

The film seems to suggest that citizens must take the law into their hands instead of going to the police. It also stereotypes men, women and the cause of rape.

If all of this is not enough, some of the lines spoken by the hero are offensive too. In one of the scenes, he says that if people can fall in love with the blind, the deaf, he can too with a rape victim (rape is a form of disability?). Then, he tells one of the rapists that he does not understand what is wrong with women who end up in trouble trying to prove that they are as equal as men.

To distract one from this abominable plot, there are ample songs in the film. However, they only delay the plot and make the film longer. Comedy sequences involve a scorned lover who sets out to marry couples off in a park (moral policing is funny?).

A discussion about the filmmaking style and camera work seems inconsequential in a film that is embroiled in so many problems.



This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 7, 2021 2:57:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/patharagitti-getting-the-message-wrong/article7263448.ece

Next Story