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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kempegowda - Remade and well made!

     Sudeep takes up another remake project to don both actor’s and director’s hats and with it the cynicism of people who are against remakes.

It’s a totally different point of discussion about how correct it is to make more and more remakes and not give chances to local writing talent. I won’t dwell much into that although I’ve equally balanced opinion about this matter and happy to appreciate good movies irrespective of what their origin is.

Coming back to Kempegowda, it’s a remake of a popular tamil movie Singam that had super actor Surya playing the lead role and created a character that was loved by the masses.
So, Sudeep had a daunting task of recreating the same level of intensity and I must say that he succeeds with great style. He had a very good story to build upon and he makes minute changes to screenplay and retains almost 95% of the original. He has chopped off a few extended comedy scenes and that has definitely given tighter narration.

The dialogues are the main highlight of the movie and make the audience ask for more and more as the story unfolds. Comedy by Sharan is top notch and gives plenty of laughs but goes off track in few scenes seeming unnecessary.
Best part of this movie is the casting of Ravishankar. He was so far known to industry insiders as Saikumar’s brother and a popular dubbing artist having lent his voice to more than 3000 movies. But now, he will be firmly known as Ravishankar , the brilliant actor who has matched Sudeep in every scene that they face each other. Its funny and sad at the same time that there have been many uninspiring and hollow actors to have got ample opportunities so far and someone like Ravishankar had to wait this long. Hopefully, he’ll be well noted for this role and will be given many more challenging roles suiting his immense talent.

If there is one aspect in which this movie scores well over its tamil original then it has to the technical department. The camera work by S.Krishna is brilliant and stresses on the fact that there are beautiful locations in India that are to be shot well instead of making frequent trips to phoren locations. The editing is slick and the background score is not overtly loud or unnecessarily subtle. The fights are directed well and there are ample opportunities for front seaters to deafen others in theatres with their whistles.

I’ve to make a special mention about the music by Arjun that sounds fresh and suitable. The title song is thankfully used in the background and adds great effect to the scenes.  Elementary street fest song ‘Hungama’ is average even with around 400 extras used to give the festive effect. Both the romantic songs are well written, sung and composed. I still feel odd in the way romantic songs are placed at totally strange points of the narration. Anyways, one song that grabs your attention is the ‘Hale Radio’ which has catchy sets by Arun Sagar and lyrics by Yograj Bhat with vocals by Sudeep and Shamita Malnad.

The lead actress’s role is played by Ragini Dwivedi who is sweet and cute but needs to take few more acting classes if she wants to be more than a glamour doll and an eye candy in her movies. I wish her luck as she can build on this performance and expect bigger and better roles.

The supporting cast consisting of Girish Karnad, Ashok, Chitra Shenoy , Tara and others is above average and do not really disappoint in limited scenes that they have.

So, does this movie boast of no shortcomings at all? Not really, screenplay could have been tighter and more meat could have been added to Ravishankar’s character to make him look like a bigger evil than what is shown. The movie takes a while to reach the point of altercations between Sudeep and Ravishankar which at times seems like too much of a build-up. It could have been more engaging with more screen time after the altercations start. Also, It would have been interesting to see the things unfold if Sudeep had added more stuff that wasn’t present in the original.

On the whole, this movie has a good repeat value and does total justice to the expectations people had out of this.

For me, more than this movie alone, what makes me happier is the new wave in Kannada cinema where in all aspects of film making are being given equal respect. In last year or so, we have witnessed few technically better movies like Aptha Rakshaka, Manasaare, Pancharangi, Jackie and Super (I haven’t watched Mylaari yet but have heard good words about it). All this new wavy feeling started with Mungaaru Male few years ago but had died down in between. Its heartening to see the movie makers stressing more on these mighty factors that can actually make the movie more appealing to all the sections of the audience rather than just trying to impress B and C centres. I agree that those are major collection centres but then movies have to evolve and progress to avoid monotony and stagnancy so that every moviegoer has something to look forward to.

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