Director: Rishab Shetty
Producer: Vijay Kiragandur
Cast: Rishab Shetty, Kishore, Achyuth Kumar, Pramod Shetty, Sapthami Gowda
Music: Ajaneesh Loknath
Banner: Hombale Films
Running time: 150 minutes
Rishab Shetty is one of the finest actors in Kannada cinema, for the first time he transformed into a filmmaker and announced ‘Kantara’ with himself as the main lead. ‘Kantara’ has been recently released and let’s see how Rishab handled the craft behind the camera.
The story is set in a fictional village, where Siva (Rishab Shetty), son of a Bootha Kola Performer, is a famed Kambale Athlete, who works under the biggest landlord of the village, DevendraSuttoru (Acyuth Kumar). Siva is a rebel, who loves his village and his people. Since the village is nearer to a forest, people there are used to visiting the forest for animal hunting/ vegetables/ fruits, etc., so much, the forest itself has almost become a part of their life. Things start to loom when a newly appointed Forest officer Muralidharan (Kishore) visits the village and tries to stop the people from going to the forest, restricting their rituals, citing they are harming the forest, this causes a feud between Siva and Muralidharan, that slowly threats the entire village’s existence, What follows next is whether Siva able to save his village or not.
Writing and Direction :
One will wonder whether this is actually Rishab Shetty’s debut as a director because the kinda powerful subject he has written and the impeccable command he showcases concerning the direction craft he has makes one truly astonish, he directs the movie with no energy drop in proceedings, the drama was that tightly written and superbly paced.
The seamless blend of humor in this serious subject was fantastic, especially in the first half the humor gels so well. It’s been a while since I laughed at the comical moments in a movie this wholeheartedly.
It’s a culturally-rooted movie, the tagline ‘Dantha Kathe’ means the stories that are very popular and passed through generations but are not authentically proven, such stories exist across many states, and Rishab wanted to tell one such mythical story with Bhoota Kola folklore (a spirit worship ritual celebrated at Dakshina Kannada side), the 3rd act of ‘Kantara’ deals with that and it’s so phenomenal, it haunts you for the days, it reminds you of the power that Cinema as an Artform has, and to what extent it can impact the audience. Entire theatre overwhelms by some unfathomable emotion there, it’s almost a transcendental theatrical experience, that much divinely the movie moves you there. Rishab Shetty gave a damnn brilliant debut as a “Filmmaker” in Indian Cinema.
Rishab Shetty as ‘Siva’ was magnificent, don’t wonder if he wins a National award for his performance in this movie, with such fiery conviction he displays his act in this movie. Kishore as Forest officer was excellent, he conveys the seriousness extraordinarily on screen. Acyuth Kumar also did a great job in the Land Lord’s character. Prakash Thuminad in his given comical role ‘Raampa’ was just superb, every time he appears in the movie, theatres will surely burst into laughter. He was that hilarious. Heroine Sapthami Gowda looked beautiful and performed decently.
The movie was quite exquisite technically. Cinematography by Arvind S. Kashyap was marvelous. The village in which the movie is set looked beautiful thanks to his lush visuals. Music by B. AjneeshLokanath was tremendous, he brought great life to visuals with his score on the screen. Editing by K.M. Prakash and Pratheek Shetty was pitch-perfect for the most part, had they cut some repetitive scenes in the first half, the movie would’ve been even better.
Performances of the entire cast
Engaging and interesting narrative
Few repetitive and unnecessary scenes could’ve been avoided in the first half.
Overall, ‘Kantara’ is a masterpiece that shouldn’t be missed in theatres. Watch it for the divine vibes it evokes in you in its last hour.