Last Sunday, 20th October 13, my vehicle drove me to Sapna Theatre in Majestic area after some personal work. It has been ages since I thronged to movie halls at Majestic, reasons being many. “AMANUSH” Late Shakthi Samantha movie starring, late Uttam Kumar & Sharmila Tagore must have been the last movie I saw in Sapna many years ago….a riveting national award winner..
Not so publicized latest Kannada movie “JATTA” was the reason to visit Sapna Theatre this time around. Tabloid reports extended acclaim (4 stars) on this latest endeavor by promising young Director in B.M.Giriraj, a lesser known name though – two of his movies are still to see the light and one Puneeth Rajkumar Starrer awaiting release – deserves all kudos upfront without remorse whatsoever. A movie that could have won rich laurels from critics from all over and entered annals of history for its sheer posterity and deft handling of subject, had it not been rejected by Panorama for Indian National Awards, rationale behind non-qualification, could be many for selection nonetheless.
Riveting stellar performances all the way by each performer beckon the herald of any new entrant director and screenplay writer. His ideas are fresh.That is unmistakably Mr.Giriraj who has also lent a superlative voice-over to the lead character of DFO whos is so lovable. Giriraj’s voice-over is so overpowering that it does a special effect on the endearing actor in DFO’s role…oh my…what a baritone voice. Mark my words, Giriraj is here to stay and prove his mettle..what a replete talent reserve this..
The protagonist character ‘JATTA”, enacted by Kishore Kumar needs exceptional mention – his acting prowess was never in question though – brings fire onto the screen by sensitive underplayed portrayal of a undereducated and almost mute village bum turned out-and-out Forest guard who knew inch by inch and nothing less or more in life except being forest savior.
First place, to create a plot out of not so avant-garde storyline, straighten up a powerful screenplay and narration is such daunting task one would dare do. Out here, diminutive Giriraj – an almost look alike of ace Bollywood Director, Sri RajKumar Santoshi – needs a thump on his back for his brave effort.
Whether it is sullied & subservient walking/running style that brings occasional laughter, the vulnerability while dealing two impenetrable women, mending-resurrecting his own wrong ways the senior forest officer way, condoning-bidding farewell to his runaway wife and city based paramour to settle down in city peacefully, last but not the least, the breathtaking, natural fight sequence in the dark, to knock off hired evil goons of forest mafia who are to crack ‘Thayi mara’ – is all about standout presentation of bravery personified heroic act. Shravathi river back water, ancient temples, lush green landscapes of coastal Karnataka and Malnad areas (Cinematograhy by Kiran Hampapura), well engraved punchy local dialect, all of them originate a special liking for Giriraj’s earnest effort. In particular, the dailogue DFO delivers about JATTA while recording post – ‘freak firing incident’ – statement from Sukrutha Waglekar -still lingers in my mind. ‘That JATTA is an angel born with a devil cross and to forgive him’ is a fitting finale to this wonderful movie.
Starting from B.Suresh (rabble rouser) Pavana (Jatta’s wife), PremKumar (upright DFO), Sukrutha Waghle (girl with revolutionary ideas) & to the last of them , all have chipped in with an astral performance and nativity.
While the movie can also boast of 2-3 sprightly lilting folk numbers (composed by Ashley Avinash), it is regrettable to note, such attempts neither find theatres for release nor would they be desired to have comprehensive run at box-office by the likes that be and what is more, the bucks stop here. It is very tricky to comprehend the likes and dislikes of a movie-goer, to be more eloquent. What’s more more heartening, I read a tabloid report that Superstar Kichcha Sudeep has taken avid interest in the promotion of ‘Jatta”. That sounds a welcome news.
While stepping out of Sapna, I had a surprise too. BM Giriraj along with scores of his Stage & Movie fraternity, younger brother Devaraj, an ebullient & proud father Mr.Mahadeva Malla, all in beaming smiles outside – were awaiting reaction from the audience. A high ranked official in Oriental Insurance Company, the self respecting and honest Mr.Mahadeva Malla happens to be my close family friend who I know from childhood, was bowled over.
So much so, what mattered to me most is the bright sparkle in a proud father’s eyes that touchingly spoke volumes on accomplishments made by his young protégés and the meager encouragement that lent the Gennext to pursue creativity and carve a niche of their own in respective fields.
Bravo Giriraj BM on a wonderful show of your undeniable talent..!!..A sure shot frontline director for Sandalwood in times to follow is in making, I bet my instincts.