Katheyondu Shuruvagide movie review: Senna Hegde changes how love stories will be told in Kannada cinema
Katheyondu Shuruvagide boasts of an optimistic arc and lack of monotonousness in its breathing frames.
castDiganth, Prakash K Thuminadu, Ashwin Rao Pallakki, Shreya Anchan, Babu Hirannaiah And Aruna Balaraj
Like a flower that blooms once in 12 years, there comes a film once a decade that helps shift the tone in telling stories in Kannada cinema. And I am pretty elated about Katheyondu Shuruvagide’s contribution to this aspect.
Mungarlu Male, that released in 2006, brought a sea of change in the way romance films are made and perceived. Now, director Senna Hegde’s directorial debut in Kannada, Katheyondu Shuruvagide, is taking that chapter, albeit on a different plane, forward. Is it time to pop the champagne bottle already? Ah, let us wait for a week, or three. For now, allow me to take you through the movie’s optimistic arc and the lack of monotonousness in its breathing frames.
Diganth, who has been riding a rough horse for a long time, is back to throwing his simple smiles and fertile allegories. Joining him, on his character’s self discovery and silent agony, is Pooja Devariya’s Tanya. At first, I thought their names were clichéd – Tanya and Tarun (Diganth). But then, I got used to the sounds of their names halfway through the film as they were constantly being spoken to, or spoken of. Not just Tanya and Tarun, you will hear a lot of Kutty (Prakash K Thuminadu), Pedro (Ashwin Rao Pallakki), Swarna (Shreya Anchan), Uncle (Babu Hirannaiah) and Aunty (Aruna Balaraj). The movie is centered on these characters and there is not a moment that passes by without a dialogue, or a cry. It is surprising that Senna could lay out three separate threads of love stories on the table and make them all work without needing to kill a character to earn the sympathies of the audience.
Then, of course, there is the camaraderie between Tarun and Tanya. The first time Tanya cries her insides out on the beach, Tarun does not offer his shoulder to cry on. He goes to the car and gets a box of tissues. He does not respond to her tears of misery like a knight in shining armor. At this point, they do not know each other. Their relationship is merely that of a guest, who has been picked up at the airport, and, a resort owner, who is waiting for the charm of luck to ring his doorbell. However, their roles change as the movie progresses. The journey includes some terrific tracks by Sachin Warrier and a trip to the hilltop in order to witness the rise of the never-failing sun in all its glory. That is also one of the few places where the camera focuses on the landscape than on the faces.
Senna seems to have a thing for close-ups. Rarely does the camera move below the chest-area of the actors – when Tanya is dancing to Tarun’s tunes, or when they are gleefully running up the stairs of a lighthouse, maybe, the camera, too, ogles a bit; otherwise, the camera stays put. Since the film is opulently filled with lifelike conversations and museums of human longings, I can’t say I missed much.
The silver lining that I will keep going back to, in Katheyondu Shuruvagide, is, nevertheless, for the friendship and love that Uncle and Aunty share. It is a delight to see a couple in their pre-twilight years walk hand in hand, or sing popular English songs, in an Indian film.
Senna Hegde has brought the best out of every actor in his romantic movie set on the beaches and roads – even Prakash, who pronounces “Rude” as “Roodey,” and throws in those kinds of chuckles at regular intervals – and I am glad to report that I walked out of the theater with a smile on my lips.
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