Film: "Kalpana"; Producer-Director: Ram Narayan; Cast: Upendra, Sai Kumar, Lakshmi Rai, Shruthi, Umashri, Shobharaj, Sathyajith, Achyuth Kumar, Bullet Prakash; Camera: Selvaraj; Music: Hari Krishna; Rating: ***1/2
Popular Southern filmmaker is a complete mass entertainer. It may not be logical or scientific, nevertheless, it engages the audience with all its commercial ingredients. "Kalpana" is a remake of Tamil and Telugu film "Kanchana", which was directed by actor-director and choreographer Raghava Lawrence. It was a huge hit last year.
The Kannada version is directed by Ram Narayan and is a perfect recipe for family and mass audience, with elements of comedy, horror, thrills and graphics mixed in right proportion.
The highlight of the film is the brisk narration after actor Sai Kumar, who plays the role of a transgender, makes an entry in the film. From this point it's Sai Kumar and Upendra, who excel in their histrionics.
Raghava is a youngster, who is scared of ghosts and even fears moving out in nights. He likes to play cricket. One day when his cricket team is sent out of the playground, he searches for an alternative and moves out to an abandoned field and sticks the wicket.
Little does he know that it the ground is haunted and three people were buried in the same place where he sticks the wicket. Strange things happen in his life after this incident.
His mother and sister-in-law see him behaving violently, though in reality he is timid. Raghava's mother is then told that a ghost is haunting the house. Finally the mystery behind the ground and Raghava's behaviour is unravelled.
Upendra has done a great job by giving his character different shades. He is utterly comical, lovable and even scary in some sequences of the film. His body language perfectly matches the characterisation. Sai Kumar who plays the role of a transgender, is very good in his portrayal too.
His dialogues in the climax sequence are quite meaningful and touching. Shruthi and Umashri are little loud in their respective roles. Shobharaj perfectly fits into the villain's role, while Achyuth Kumar and Sathyajith has done a good job.
Technically the film is superb. It scores in computer graphics and camera work. The graphics are sure to scare you in the first half of the film. And the comedy portions though, a little over the top, may please mass audience.
However, the negative part of the film is that post interval, until the entry of Sai Kumar's character, the film moves at a slow pace. Lakshmi Rai has little opportunity in the film and is just seen in song sequences and a few not-so-well written sequences.
If you look in totality, "Kalpana" is one thoroughly enjoyable film, particularly for children and family audience, despite it getting an "A" certificate.
The editing could have been sharper. Hari Krishna, who has set a benchmark with his music compositions in recent films, has however, gone a step below.