|Shriya Saran, Ganesh Venkatraman, Prem, Srinath|
This movie made all the right kind of noise and the wrong kind of news because of its star cast and the controversies respectively. Touted to be the debut project for Shriya Saran and Ganesh Venkatraman in Kannada movies, Chandra scores high on production values, budget and stylish making but falls flat in terms of story, script and dialogues.
Though the posters of the movie indicated that it is a period film, in reality is not the case. Shriya plays the role of a princess (Chandravathi) while Prem is the son (Chandrahasa) of the court musician. However, the plot is set in the current context and the royal family is being tormented by the government. Chandravathi has to quickly find a royal groom, but she falls in love with Chandrahasa. But Chandravathi’s family has other plans of getting her married to a royal lineage person settled in the US. What forms the rest of the story is how Chandravathi and Chandrahasa overcome the hurdles.
Well, in terms of story, there is nothing new because the theme has been often repeated in every language in the film industry. Director Roopa Iyer clearly reveals that she does not have a hold over the movie’s plot while she has attached too much importance to the production values. Unfortunately, they do not complement each other and Chandra emerges as an incomplete product. This was Roopa’s first attempt at the ‘big picture’ but her lack of directorial skills and proper film narration is visible on the screen.
Performance wise, it is Shriya Saran and Ganesh Venkatraman, who excel in their roles. Prem too lives up to his expectations. But the biggest drawback of the movie is the underutilization of comedy stars Sadhu Kokila and Vivek. Though Chandra happens to be Vivek’s debut Kannada project, his presence is hardly noticed because of the lack of witty and comedy-laced dialogues that can justify his role. Music by Gautam Srivatsa is melodious while it is the cinematographer PHK Doss, who scores over the rest with his brilliant camera work.