Review for KANTARA:
(REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI R)
•Language: Kannada (Malayalam Dubbed)
•Duration: 02 Hour 30 Minutes.
•Genre: Fantasy Action Thriller.
1: Performance of Rishab Shetty
6: Action Sequences
8: Art Direction
1: Story is predictable
•ONE WORD: ‘Kantara’ is a work of cinematic brilliance.
The story takes place in Kuntapur in 1847. The king who rules this region is not happy in his life because despite having a lot of wealth he could not find peace. So the king starts a long journey and the journey ends in a forest. As he travels he hears a voice that leads him to a stone. This stone is sacred and is worshiped by the villagers. So the king asks their permission to take the stone with him and they reluctantly agree. But a deal will be made and the king will offer them land for the stone. Several years later in the 1990s, the King’s successor would return and claim the land as his own. After being denied by the villagers, he goes to court to sue, but soon after succeeding, he dies spitting blood. A Forest Department official named Murali also poses a problem to the villagers, saying that they cannot lay claim to or touch government land. Then the native Lord Shiva will stand for the villagers and he is an assistant of Devendra, the lord of the land. His father and brother are Kola rites, but Shiva does not like to do so. The rest of the story deals with Shiva’s life, his love, his village, various beliefs, customs and the struggle to protect his land.
•ANALYSIS OF THE DIRECTION, STORY, SCREENPLAY AND DIALOGUES:
The film ‘Kantara’ is written and directed by Rishab Shetty. The movie is produced by Vijay Kiragandur under Hombale Films. KRG Studios handles the distribution and Prithviraj Productions does the distribution in Kerala. The film has a running time of 150 minutes and is currently running in theatres with a U/A censor certificate.
I would define this film as a masterpiece, I loved every single bit of it. The content of this movie and the cinematic experience which it offers through the technical brilliance is hard to explain. It’s a kind of rare film, it should be watched on the big screen and the movie highly demands a theatre experience. I can guarantee that you will be shocked after watching the film because the movie is presented in such a different manner and the visuals of the climax will hunt you down. The last twenty minutes of this film have the power to dominate you and I’m sure everyone will feel the emotion of this film. The actions, fantasy concepts and thrilling backdrop made my viewing experience more appealing, I am still in the hangover of Kantara.
Rishab Shetty, as an actor, director and writer had done a massive job, he is the real backbone of this beautiful film. He is a clever director, the making style he implemented and his intelligent way of scriptwriting had taken this movie to a whole new different level. The story is predictable but the engaging feel that the movie gives will contrive our minds and till the end, we will be in the world of Kantara. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen because the direction of Rishab Shetty was dominating my eyes and mind. How the movie is presented needs to be specially mentioned because the movie was strong enough to engage me. The direction style and step-by-step occurrences in the plot unfolded thrillingly and it made me wonder. Every scene was having the proper continuity and also adequate explanations were given for the crucial scene. So the impact was high and the kind of influence that the important scenes had given me was mind-blowing because a proper cinematic feel can be seen all over the film.
The first half of the film was fast-paced, the movie began with a promising introduction. From the first scene of the movie to the last scene, the fascination of the movie is undefinable. The first scene of the movie that was shown at the beginning completely surprised me. That great start gave the film more strength and energy ahead and the masterly written script balanced the movie to maintain its impact. The fantasy concept and the mysteries surrounding the premises of ‘Kantara’ is not like a normal film, we will get curious to know the facts. The glimpse of fantasy scenes, scary scenes and horror scenes is surprising, all those scenes were placed at the right time and each one of them looked interesting. I didn’t get any kind of lag, the whole 150 minutes were thrilling and the direction had done total justice for the screenplay. There are many occurrences in the plot, each incident was nicely represented and none of them felt exaggerated. The fantasy concepts in the film had the power to attract my attention, it was mixed with the present situations systematically. The blending of present happenings and fantasy came out effectively with proper depth. Also, the comedies which Rishab Shetty brought fitted pleasingly, the fun in friendship and the comedies evoked laughter.
The romantic scene between Rishab Shetty and Sapthami Gowda was neatly written, and their chemistry worked out well. Initially, I thought it would create a diversion from the actual theme but Rishab Shetty controlled it perfectly. In the script Rishab Shetty had written the characters well, unwanted characters were never brought for filling up additional time. The characterization was cleverly written, and the hero-villain clashes, in the end, were brilliantly executed. The villain character of Achyuth Kumar had more than enough screen presence and his character was enriched with the shades of a promising villain. The supporting characters in the film are plenty, so Rishab Shetty in his writing has given enough importance to their characters. The DFRO role played Kishore is the best example, that character was written out brilliantly, the mood of hero-villain clash was all over. The intense way of filmmaking and the raw scenes had given more profoundness to the theme. Towards the climax it’s rough, it’s one for the best climax I had seen in recent times. The transformation of Rishab Shetty in the climax was shocking, his acting talents and the natural way of undertaking the character was authentic.
The atmosphere and mood of this film are beyond the imagination. How the situations are going to connect with the fantasy and mysteries will make you guess till the end. The feeling that I got while seeing the film was different, especially at the climax, it was like Rishab Shetty was taking us into his world of trance. The way he performed in the climax and how he organised the set and how he executed it was outstanding. The climax visuals had a predominant quality and the dark and intense happenings made me speechless. Till the climax, the movie was like a normal engaging film, in between when they used to display the fantasy visuals and it was giving me a feeling that something big is going to happen. So I was hundred percent sure that the climax was going to be different, but it was more than my expectations. Fear was getting on my nerves, my eyes couldn’t believe what just happened and the mood that those visuals gave had taken me into the mysterious world of Kantara. So it was one of the best climaxes I had seen in recent times and Rishab Shetty had nailed it, huge applause for his big clever effort. As an actor, writer and director Rishab Shetty has done a fabulous job and I’m greatly grateful to him for giving us Kantara.
•PERFORMANCE OF ACTORS:
Rishab Shetty as Shiva and Shiva’s father did a fantastic performance, he was just living with the character. I didn’t find any errors, his entire performance was flawless and he had given his best. His climax performance was fantastic and the way he acted it out had blown my mind. His expressions, the action sequences and the way he transforms were extraordinary. The portions in which Rishab Shetty played Kola rituals are a treat to watch, it exactly looked like the original artform. How he expresses his emotions and how he bursts out his anger and his various attitudes were bewildering with the qualities of a true actor. Rishab Shetty’s body grace while performing the action sequences was great, the fight sequences were thrillingly handled. The climax action sequences are terrific, he had tried to make it look different and the final output on the screen was shocking. The emotional sequences of Rishab Shetty were also sentimental, the scene in which his brother dies and how he expresses it was touching. So it was like his stellar show, flawless and natural, he is the real backbone of Kantara. Kishore as Muralidhar, played the role of Deputy Range Police Officer. His supportive role was really good, his personality as a sincere police officer and the attitude he expressed was nice to watch. The combination scenes with Rishab Shetty was thrilling and it carried the first half of the movie steadily. Achyuth Kumar as Devendra Suttooru shined as the villain, his negative character and his characterization came out well. The villain attitude and his crooked expression was matching for the situations and also his contribution in the climax portion was good. Sapthami Gowda as Leela did a notable performance, the police officer role was adequately handled. She was looking cute, and the combination scenes with Rishab Shetty were romantic and the emotional scenes were also handled authentically. There are plenty of other supporting actors, the actors who played the role of Shiva’s friends, the village people and the actress who played Shiva’s mother’s role did complete justice to their respective supporting roles.
•MUSIC & TECHNICAL ASPECTS:
The musical composition for the film is tuned by B. Ajaneesh Loknath. The soundtrack of Kantara consists of six songs and the songs were finely composed. Among the songs I liked “Varaha Roopam Daiva Va Rishtam ” and it’s the best. The feel and the vibe which that song gives us is hard to explain. When I heard it in the theatre I felt like I was in an unbelievable trance. It’s dark and can make you fear and the mysterious feel that the song gives is tremendous. The song is similar to ‘Navarasam’ by Thaikkudam Bridge, both have the same ragas and pattern and fusion are also similar. Sai Vignesh’s voice was magical and suited well for the song. There are various instruments used in the song and the way it was arranged is mindblowing. The mix of traditional and electronic instruments had given a rare fusion feel. The lyrics of Shashiraj Kavoor had given more appeal to the song and the visuals of Kola Art made the song unforgettable for me. The song “Singara Siriye” was romantic, the voice of Vijay Prakash and Ananya Bhat made it feel different. The song “Karma Song” had a pleasant feel and Venkatesh DC sang well. The background score in the movie is terrific, the BGM stood higher to set an extra impact. Every scene in the film was crammed with an appropriate background score and while watching the film we can apprehend the real feel and depth. The climax was beautifully implemented with the right set of tunes and the background score synched perfectly without any errors. The emotional scenes had also the right sentimental tunes and the background score in the romantic scene also matched well. The mix of traditional and modern mix of musical instruments also made the background score attractive, specifically, it worked effectively at the ending.
Kantara has the best work on technical aspects. The cinematography and the lighting were extraordinary and I was shocked by seeing the efforts. The cinematography by Arvind S. Kashyap was beautiful because the village premise of the movie was elegantly captured. Nature, the temples, the customs, the traditions and the way they live was flawlessly undertaken by the cameraman. So while watching I was able to feel the living conditions of the characters. The camera movements in the action sequences were superb, and the breathtaking climax was conducted with sudden camera movements. So the whole ending was visually appealing for the eyes and the frames had made a drastic influence. Some closeup frames were exhibited to showcase the acting talents of actors, especially their emotional sequence was perfectly captured. Many wide-angle frames had given extra beauty to the film, and the inside forest visuals were also captured rightly. The editing was perfect, and the duration of the film didn’t feel dragged. The transition of the scene was good and the incredible colour grading had given more attraction for the viewing.
So the film ‘Kantara’ is a brilliantly executed movie that one should not miss in theatres. Rishab Shetty had given extraordinary acting and I’ll pass huge applause for his incredible effort. The direction and the script by Rishab Shetty are also flawless and he made this movie completely engaging. I’m sure one won’t feel any kind of lag and the climax will blow your mind. Therefore, I will highly recommend Kantara to everyone and the mysterious fantasy world of Kantara is a treat to watch.
•VERDICT: A MUST-WATCH FILM
A Review by Arunjyothi R.