Film: Kantara (Kannada)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Review by: Aldrin Vaz
Kantara film starring Rishab Shetty & Sapthami Gowda is one of the Best Kannada films to hit theatres in a very long time. This is Rishab Shetty’s career-best directed and award-winning performance film. The story revolves around Daiva Aradhane or Kambala race though that is not the main story of the film.
The film starts with Daiva Aradane and Kambala race scenes but once that is over, till the climax, the normal and engaging film looks at the forest people’s daily routine, their struggle, history, divine beliefs etc. Romance and mother sentiment is very well added to the narrative. Though Tulu and other local slang are used throughout the film it can be watched with family. To date, this is the finest portrayal of Tulunadu and Coastal Karnataka culture in a Kannada film. Another highlight of this film is the situational comedy throughout the film. It keeps you engaged even though the film’s pace reduces a bit just before and immediately after the interval. 10-15 minutes could have been easily trimmed from these portions.
The main highlight of this film is the breathtaking extraordinary climax. The way aggressively Rishab Shetty has performed is beyond imagination. This performance will be remembered as one of the best performances by a lead actor in the history of Kannada cinema. Rishab will walk away with all the awards for best actor this year. This film will put him in the big league in Sandalwood.
Sapthami Gowda has performed well, especially in romantic scenes. Kishore as forest officer has once again given a power-packed performance. Achyuth Kumar, Pramod Shetty, Prakash Thuminad and all the character artists have given very good performances and are perfect in their respective roles. Background Score and Music by Ajaneesh Lokanath is excellent. The hit romantic song ‘Singara Siriye’ is very well shot and nicely included in the film’s narrative. Other devotional songs though feel familiar are also very good. The cinematography by Aravind S Kashyap for this medium-budget film is praiseworthy.
With the career-best performance by Rishab Shetty, most people might forget this is his best-directed movie to date. The attention to detail given in each scene is awesome. Though the film is made on a very religious and sensitive subject of Daiva Aradane, Rishab Shetty and the team have taken utmost care not to hurt religious sentiment anywhere in the film. This film is not only a must-watch film for everyone in Coastal Karnataka, but people throughout India could relate to this story as these types of religious practices are present in different forms everywhere.
Finally, it’s an engaging film with the right mix of culture, religious practices, mother sentiment, forest issues, land dispute, romance, friendship, plenty of action sequences, revenge, etc. It’s a feel-good film.