The day Rakshit declared on twitter about making Ulidavaru Kandanthe, I thought “star frenzy” had hit him bad; after success of SOLS and being on epitome of form as an actor, which fool would venture into direction. Rakshit has done it in style and silenced many people like me with his debut venture, how? Read on…
UK is stylish. Not with the costumes or uber cool studio sets but with frames; no one has actually dared retro style in the Sandalwood industry, Rakshit does. One can shoot anywhere and anyhow in Kodagu and the outcome will always be brilliant. But shooting in Dakshina Kannada, and commemorate the culture has to take sheer brilliance. Most of the earlier movies based out in Dakshina Kannada are often modified to woo the uncontrollable “Ghatta” crowd. Rakshit doesn’t, I guess being from the region one can actually see DK from director’s perspective. Tiger Dance, Yakshagana and the port scenes speak the culture, loud and clear.
UK does not have a story. It is “you, the audience” who can create a story, with perspectives of course. You are your own Sherlock here, except you are finding the reason behind the murder and not the culprit. Rarely does a move make you think, use your brains, stay locked to your seat and venture to get a popcorn refill, because once you are out, the story has nothing to offer. Your perspectives also will let you know how much you value relations, and their complexities. For example, you might find Rishab Shetty a cool dude, who wouldn’t have done xyz task, but someone else would find him the person behind the mishap. It’s how you think that matters. Akira Kurosawa, would be happy, if not proud.
UK has Ajaneesh Loknath. I am in love with the background score than the numbers. For every scene that “everyone” is complaining about being slow, Ajaneesh pitches in. Chapter two when Tara meets Rishab, everything about it is “slow” but the background score makes it so beautiful. That is exactly how a mom feels, when she meets her child. Be it 15 years or 15hours (in my case) If not for his music, I guess the chapter would not have any hold in the plot because it hardly adds to the narration.
I loved Sheetal as a narrator and not as journalist actor. I guess this is where Parvati Menon would have done an awesome job. But then, I loved the scenes involving Richi and Regina, a touch of flirting, loads of naughtiness and a pinch of love sorts of chemistry – very cute. What is much cuter is “Democracy”, balancing the entire set of characters single handedly in the plot.
Kudos to Sachin for his editing and for having the same perspective as that of Rakshit. Because understanding what the director wants to be narrated as part of editing is a touch job. Karm Chawla weaves magic on screen with his cinematography, special mention of him too.
Of course there are things that make UK a little complicated for the audience and the first one would be “too much usage of English” by characters (especially Richi) considering that the child was in remand for many years, the English is too hep for the audience. Tulu is understandable but English is not. Subtitles had to be there from the day the movie was released, unfortunately not and this was quite a turn off for that section of audiences who are watching every scene but cannot understand the tulu and thereby losing few bits in the plot. This part of audience would not watch the move again. Cuban guy story is overly stretched by Rakshit in his chapter. I almost felt like saying “mundhak heL guru”. Achyuth Kumar and his talent of “learning & speaking Kundapura Kannada” should have been exploited more; I felt his part of chapter very short. I did not find Rishab shetty appealing to the character at all.
The chapter concept gives a “continuous” feel for UK, however it is not. The numbers chapters are from narration perspective but as a story it is “one”, this is too much for the audience to understand. Instead of numbering them, just naming them would have been a better approach.
And Richi – oh so good the entire 160 minutes. Making me fall in love with him, again and again. Bodaaa Sheera :- )
Two things out of this movie – Director Rakshit >>>>>> Actor Rakshit. Industry can have many actors but industry wants directors, hoping Rakshit would do wonders in coming years to Sandalwood. When I reviewed SOLS, even with biased frame of mind I appreciated Suni more than Rakshit, because for a movie to do well, it is definitely the director who has to hit the right chord. In Ulidavaru Kandanthe Rakshit has hit all the right chords; UK is not a suspense-thriller movie, but celebration – of Dakshina Kannada, the characters, their fates all entangled together in the name of perspectives.