(By Medha Bharadwaj)
I had the privilege of attending the world premiere of the Kannada movie “Ondu Motteya Kathe” directed by Raj B Shetty and produced by Pawan Kumar (director of Lucia and U-turn) and Suhan Prasad. The movie premiere was held at the Village East Cinema in New York City as a part of the New York Indian Film Festival. Here is my review of the movie.
The story revolves around Janardhan (played by Raj B Shetty), a Kannada lecturer who is in his late 20s. Though he is a soft natured man, he faces difficulties in his life due to his premature baldness. He finds it difficult to find a woman to marry due to his baldness and also because he is a Kannada lecturer. His mother is desperate to see him get married. The story continues with his efforts to find the woman of his dreams.
First of all, this movie is a great entertainer and is most likely to become a big hit once it is released in Karnataka. It is predominantly of the comedy-drama genre and has some very funny dialogues with the perfect comic timing throughout the length of the movie. The lead actor Raj B Shetty has done an excellent job in portraying the character of an innocent, soft natured boy who deals with criticism of his looks and tries to stay positive about finding a girl. He has portrayed some complex emotions in a subtle manner when he faces dilemma in a few parts of the movie. His brilliant portrayal of the role makes it impossible for you not to connect with him and feel what he is going through.
The movie has only a handful characters and each of them have an important role in the story. Usha Bhandary who plays the mother’s role has done a great job and makes it evident that she is a seasoned actress. Prakash, the actor who plays the character of Srinivas (the college peon) has given a brilliant performance. His dialogue delivery and expressions are outstanding. Maim Ramdas, Vitla Mangesh Bhat and all the other actors have done a good job and convince you of their role.
The direction and cinematography of the movie are amazing which makes it a great experience. The story is set in Mangalore and dialogues are in Mangalore style Kannada which is a unique element to the movie. The movie has a “sweet and simple” feel to it and doesn’t have any extravagance.
The music and background score for the movie are absolutely delightful and soothing. Though the songs may seem to slow down the movie a little, they are unique and beautiful. The lyrics of the songs are equally amazing.
Here is the most important part of the movie review: Though the movie is of a comedy genre, it sends out a strong message to the society about accepting ourselves for who we are. It is so heartwarming to see the message come out strongly towards the end of the movie. It speaks against body shaming and objectification of beauty. The movie deserves great appreciation for this.
There was not a single boring moment in the theatre during the movie screening. The movie kept us entertained throughout. This movie is definitely a must watch for the Kannada audience.
Suhan Prasad deserves credit for producing this movie which attracted the attention of Pawan Kumar. The role of Pawan Kumar as the producer definitelys adds more value to the movie due to the quality of his work which he has proven with Lucia and U-Turn.
I hope this movie gets the credit it deserves.
My experience at the World Premiere:
I had a great time interacting with Raj B Shetty and Pawan Kumar. I felt very happy to be one of the first few people to watch this movie.
There was a brief introduction from Raj and Pawan before the movie screening. See the video below.
Raj B Shetty was sitting right behind me. I congratulated him on his brilliant work in the movie.
After the screening, Pawan and Raj had a Q&A session with the audience. They answered some questions about the idea for the movie, script, music, characters etc. Raj expressed his respect and adulation for Dr. Rajkumar which is also seen in the character he portrays.
This movie is definitely a refreshing and amazing experience for Kannada film lovers.
It is such a joy to see such quality movies being made in the Kannada industry. I wish the best of luck to the entire team. Hope you guys make more such amazing movies. Kudos !
(Author: Medha Bharadwaj)