Avane Srimannarayana movie review: The performance of Balaji Manohar as Jayarama is a big plus for Avane Srimannarayana.
Avane Srimannarayana movie cast: Rakshit Shetty, Shanvi Srivastava, Balaji Manohar, Madhusudhan Rao
Avane Srimannarayana movie director: Sachin Ravi
Avane Srimannarayana movie rating: 3.5 stars
The title of Rakshit Shetty’s latest film is Avane Srimannarayan, a favorite place in the history of Kannada pop culture. This is the line that incites Hiranyakashipu (Dr. Rajkumar) to anger in the legendary film Bhakta Prahlad. And so, writers and director Sachin Ravi did not hesitate to include the iconic scene from the 1983 film, while introducing Narayan (Rakshit Shetty), the village inspector of the deity named Amaravati.
People enjoying the devout Prahlad in the tent theater say that this story was set in the 1980s. Amaravati is a ruthless land tortured by a cruel tribe called the Abhiras. Members of the community identify themselves as Abhiras or you can call them dacoits. The seasonal tribe of armed robbers is seemingly possessed by innocent members of a play troupe. The head of the congregation becomes greedy and loots the government treasury, which captured the imagination of Rama Rama (Madhusudan Rao), the head of the tribe. Ram captures all the responsible actors and kills them. But, in a rush, he makes a grave mistake. He kills the thieves for the first time believing that he has a treasure within his reach. But, he was wrong. And thus begins a long and fierce hunt for hidden treasures.
Avane Srimannarayana is situated in a unique place that feels familiar and yet distant from the world we know. On the one hand, the film presents Narayan as a successful savior, destined to free the honest people of Amravati from the evil clutches of the Abhira tribe. And on the other hand, Narayan himself does not believe in his narrative. He is a selfish cop with flexible morals. And it helps the condom film in more ways than one. First, it prevents filmmakers from engaging in non-stop worship of its hero worship (eg KGF: Chapter 1). A hero who does not take himself seriously is a welcome relief. Next, it gives the protagonist a distinctive and vibrant quality in one place, largely populated by people who walk and talk as if they were very flirting.
Although, Rakshit Shetty and his team of writers have written to Narayan, but there are problems. The hero’s over-smartness does not develop into something big and important. The film promises that there is more to the protagonist than meets the eye. And we wait. We look forward to the true form of the protagonist like Narasimha Avatar from the film of devotee Prahlad. We wait for the hero to increase his intelligence and surprise us with his lesser-known skills. But, this never happens. Make no mistake, these are not my expectations from the film. These were the promises made in the film in the promise process. The film leads us to believe that the protagonist has a greater purpose and to be better behind his actions.
I think the writers’ decision to reveal many details very early in the film was a huge setback. I am talking about Narayana re-telling the history of the treasure. This was avoidable because it only adds to run-time without serving any more purpose.
Balaji Manohar’s performance as Jayaram is a big plus for Avne Srimannarayan. He is the main antagonist, and he poses a major challenge to the hero. Villains usually drown in mainstream films to make the protagonist look attractive. But, Jayaram is strong, shrewd and physically strong. It was a real surprise when Jayaram gets away from his affection and decides not to proceed from killing his father Rama Rama to the throne. It presents how filmmakers use patricide to underline the evil nature of power-hungry villains.
The dystopian period that resembles Hollywood’s spaghetti westerns enriches the film’s visual appeal. Musician b. Ajnesh Loknath’s background score reminded me of the theme music of Guy Richie’s Sherlock Holmes (2009).
Despite its flaws, Avon Srimannarayan is an important Kannada film. To put it like Narayana, the history of Kannada cinema could be divided into Avne Srimannarayana before and after. It can also be called the first big motion picture of 21st century of Kannada cinema. Not only because of its budget, but opposed to sticking to the worn-out formula to push the envelope further and explore different genres and styles of filmmaking.
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