S Shyam Prasad
The film starts on the wrong foot with a niche philosophical title for a noir thriller, with half the potential audience trying to get the pronunciation right and the other half trying to recollect the sins in order. This would hardly matter if the film is extremely good. Somewhere right up there was the expectation with Arishadvarga managing to gather the right buzz around itself the past year.
The film starts extremely well, all raging, a whodunnit that gets curiouser by the minute. It keeps you on the edge, managing to entrap you just like how the characters are being entrapped on screen into a murder.
Just when you are gasping for more, the film settles down to impose a long-winded story on lust. This should ideally be the most pleasurable of the sins. Arishadvarga is as bold a Kannada film can possibly get with Big Brother CBFC watching. The gratification is however burdened by expectations, affecting performance.
The film returns to its murder-mystery track a little too late. The how of the murder drags on after the why has been revealed. The plot and narration however round off in a tight embrace, pleasuring each other.
The character-driven plot is great to arouse a wow from connoisseurs. For the layman expecting pure entertainment, it does not allow you to empathize with any character. The different perspectives of the characters, brought about by some wonderful writing rescinds this drawback somewhat.
What makes the film a treat to watch are the performances. Anju Alva Naik is flawless. Avinash, Nanda Gopal and Mahesh Bung deliver notable executions. If you don’t check who the cinematographer is after watching the movie, you commit the sin of ignoring.
Arishadvarga gets full marks for its belief in not making a run-of-the-mill flick. However, marks in theory alone may not always suffice.
Film: Arishadvarga Director: Arvind Kamath Cast: Avinash, Samyukta Hornad, Nanda Gopal, Mahesh Bung, Anju Alva Naik and others. Stars: 3/5