Plus review: Is storytelling that difficult?

Karnataka :Bengaluru :16/10/2015: Still from Kannada Cinema Plus. Actor Ananthnag

Karnataka :Bengaluru :16/10/2015: Still from Kannada Cinema Plus. Actor Ananthnag

Plus (Kannada)

Director: Gadda Viji

Cast: Ananth Nag, Chetan Chandra, Ritesh, Ravishankar, Shalini Vadnikatti, Sudharani

For the most part of Gadda Viji’s Plus , one has no idea what the plot is really about. At its core (and as we find out only in the last scene of the film), Plus is supposed to be a conventional tale about the triumph of good over evil. However, in an attempt to build suspense, the filmmaker narrates the story in such a convoluted manner that instead of keeping you on tenterhooks, Plus actually frustrates you. There are too many unnecessary elements, sub-plots and many unanswered questions, even at the end of the film.

It opens with an aspiring director narrating a film script to a producer. We are invited to join the producer in imagining the story (if only it was that easy) as the director narrates it.

First, we meet Rankasura (Ravishankar), a demon who hears that evil thrives on Earth and decides to send his newborn son to the planet to ensure he remains wicked. Then we travel to Earth in search of Rankasura’s son and are introduced to Jai (Ananth Nag), a philanthropist and his son Vivek (Chetan Chandra), who occasionally has violent tendencies.

Vivek suffers from misophonia, which is a condition in which a person develops a hatred for harsh sounds. Is Vivek the son of Rankasura?

Then we meet Ritesh (Ritesh), who is a model-cum-dancer-cum-hairstylist, who suffers from narcissistic personality disorder and attacks people when he feels insulted. Is Ritesh the son of the demon?

Jai is attacked by a bunch of goons and rescued by Nidhi (Shalini), who is a police officer’s sister. She suffers from haemophobia, a fear of blood. Jai brings Ritesh, Nidhi and Vivek together and asks them to channelize their fears and turn it into their strength (no idea how this is related to Rankasura).

But what is the plot, really? If the first half of the film gives you an impression that it is about finding Rankasura’s son, the second half ensures that you are wrong, for the plot changes completely.

On Jai’s instructions, Ritesh, Nidhi and Vivek start to kill Jai’s friends one by one. The reason behind these murders forms the rest of the plot. There is a small scene thrown in at the end to explain the Rankasura bit, but by then one has barely any patience left.

The film is a case study on how not to narrate a story. For filmmakers, it serves as a lesson on how not to indulge your desire to include as many elements as you want in a film.

As the audience, it makes you long for simplicity and some close editing. The performances of actors are average with Ananth Nag emerging as the best of the lot. Ravishankar delivers an exaggerated performance. Ritesh, who is also the script writer of the film, speaks only in convoluted lines replete with double entendres.

With so much happening on screen, even cinematically speaking, the music barely stands out. Even Sunday Banthu.. is quite irrelevant to the plot.

Plus makes you wonder if storytelling is really that difficult.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 5:34:00 am |