Chennai Chronicles: Film Fest

A disappointed teenager-me swore to never watch any Kannada movie (Yup… I am a Kannadiga) after Mungarumale. Being utterly used to happy endings in almost all Hindi movies, witnessing Murphy’s Law play out in a movie was something I was difficult to digest– the part that hit me the worst was the demise of a cute little rabbit called Devdas (The fact that he named his rabbit Devdas was itself a dead giveaway of its fate…why did he name it Devdas anyway!).

Fast forward approximately a decade, to Chennai. Upon the suggestion of my mentor at office, I chose to give this movie called Thithi a shot. Well, it was definitely a welcome break from the usual storylines that we otherwise see – love stories, drama or action. It is a light-hearted story that captures the differences in the way three generations of a family react to the death of a 101 year old patriarch. I love the way they acted – It was really hard to believe that it had been shot with non-professional actors! Bottom-line: It actually made me a teeny bit hungry for Kannada movies.

Turns out, I was in luck. The Kannada Chalanachitra Academy hosted a 4-day Kannada Film Festival at the Russian Centre for Science and Culture from 28th to 31st July. After missing out on Rangitaranga on Saturday morning due to oversleeping, I decided to attend the second movie of the day – Ishtakaamya. Based on a novel of the same name by Dodderi Venkatagiri Rao, the story is essentially a love triangle between the three lead characters – Aakarsh, Aditi and Acchari; who fall in and out of love with each other. Although the story was slightly cliché, the songs were really good. I especially enjoyed the song Nee Nanagoskara (and listened to it approximately 4 dozen times the next day!). After treating myself to a pastry at Hot Breads, I ended the evening with a walk at the nearby Semmozhi Poonga park.

 

The movies I watched on Sunday were much better than I had anticipated. The first movie that I saw “U-Turn”. I had been suggested that movie by a senior at office, but never thought I would get the chance to actually see it. It’s a fictional thriller about the mysterious deaths of those people who took a U-turn at Double Road flyover in Bengaluru after illegally moving the divider blocks (Although people breaking the traffic laws at Double Road flyover is not exactly fiction). I loved the way the reality was blended with fiction and made to look as genuine as possible. It was the best thriller I had seen in a while – the actors have done a fantastic job. The movie surely had me at the edge of my seat throughout, and I wouldn’t mind watching it again.

The next movie I saw was “1st Rank Raju,” which speaks about people missing out on the “fun” part of their lives while focussing too much on academics. It takes a dig at the parents who value a good rank at school more than the overall personality development of their child. I loved the story – the transformation part of a bookworm to a normal fun-loving youth (although I felt that it was a bit overdone towards the end). The movie succeeded in sending me to a trip down the memory lane to my school days. And all of a sudden I was back in 11th grade English lecture on “On Education” – a speech by Albert Einstein, where he mentions that a student should leave the school as a harmonious personality, rather than a specialist.

 

I was looking forward to the last movie on the list – Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari, but unfortunately it wasn’t screened. Kannada movies in the past year packed some decent punch. I am eagerly waiting to catching up on the movies that I missed out at the fest.

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