Critic's Rating: 3/5

Sunday 05 July 2009

Movie Title



Narendra Babu

Star Cast

Praveen, Priyanka, Kishore, Dharma, Avinash, Sriraksha

After a long battle for making and releasing this film, there is some respite for Kannada audience. 'Kabaddi' is one of the best films on Kannada screen in the recent past. Surprisingly for most of the cast and more importantly the director, it is their first film. It goes to prove that young blood does change results.

There is hardly anything in the film that feels jaded. From the visuals to the dialogues there is the charm that creates movie magic. Long after watching it, the images, words and situations come back to linger. After a long time (?Navatare? Kannada film was based on cricket) there is a film in Kannada that has sports as its theme. When that game is so native, the film too feels close to the heart.

The story is about the trials of a wannabe Kabaddi player (Praveen as Praveena) and a coach (Kishore) who gives up his life building a winning team. In between there is the power politics that determines who remains in the team and who does not. A love affair that faces hurdles because of the game itself runs through the plot.

Praveena loses his chance to represent the country owing to an injury. But in the end has to get back to the game to win the girl he loves. You know he will eventually win, but that does not stop you from awaiting the next with anticipation. Director Narendra Babu with theatre background in his very first film has shown tremendous effort in narrating a plot with characters that are so believable.

The best parts of the film are the dialogues. Hoo Pattanashetty (one more newcomer) tells it as it is. The two dialects of Mandya and north Karnataka are both impressive. When Praveen, Dharma and the others mouth them they do not seem like actors but real people picked out of the crowd in a Mandya village.

A Kabbaddi player in real life Praveen in the lead role is apt. Priyanka as heroine is impressive because of the dubbing artist work. Arjun Award winner in Kabbaddi BC Ramesh plays a guest role. Avinash, Dharma have given admirable support in the character roles.

Three songs of Hamsalekha ? lyrics and music are very well scored. Though the camerawork is good, there is noticeable difference is different scenes and songs. No doubt five cameramen were used for different parts of the film. Watch the film and feel it grow on you.

Verdict ? Above average

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