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guruprasad, rangayana raghu, dhananjay, vatsala

With Guruprasad, you do not expect a regular run-of-the-mill film. It is not just the subject matter and the all encompassing humour about all issues; be it serious or eye-wetting, that keeps his films apart. He also experiments with the story-telling format so much that it comes as a shock to regular movie-viewers. On most occasions, these experiments are welcomed wholeheartedly as unique. Sometimes, they do fail.

Coming to subject matter, his first film was about a religious math advertising for a head pontiff and training the applicants. The second was about a lazy person who is unable to change himself despite serious setbacks in personal life. This film, again, centers on a family. The film is mostly shot in a single house. It is about an orphan, Dhananjay, who brings home four strangers to 'create' a family. Thus, Rangayana Raghu, who performs last rites, Vatsala Mohan, who works in an orphanage, Sumithra, who aspires to be an actress and Raam, who is a mentally challenged person bound to a wheelchair, become his family.

The strange family gets on well and soon becomes a cohesive unit. But things change when money makes its entry. Dhananjay brings Rs 52 lakh in cash and stores it in a locker in his room. The different family members soon become more interested in the money and are ready to sacrifice Dhananjay to get a share. They hatch various plans to take the money and run away. Each has a different plan of what to do with the money.

The underlying message of the film is that necessity creates a family while money makes individuals out of them. How the family copes with these conflicting emotions is the crux of the narrative.

Guruprasad manages to give the film his comic touch, especially in the first half. The film has a very entertaining run and in the first one hour, you lose count of the number of times you laugh out loud. In the second half, the tone and complexity of the story and narrative gets bigger. The one-line jokes and become a more rugged 5-minute story-telling by Rangayana Raghu. However, this experiment of making a character tell a long story does not click. The climax is also too different for a normal audience to really appreciate. But in the end, you go to watch a Guruprasad movie only to be surprised and challenged. This he does with great ease.

The performance by newcomer Dhananjay and Rangayana Raghu is appreciable. There are very few characters in the movie. The cinematography must have been a challenge having to shoot mostly indoors in a very confined space. Music by Anoop Seelin is appreciable, but you get to hear only two songs; one in the title card and another an item song featuring Pooja Gandhi. There is frugality in using the resources and too much dependence on the dialogues, which could go against the film. But it still needs a visit to the theatre to respect the director's eccentric film.


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