Daredevil Mustafa

S Shyam Prasad

A bunch of newcomers have transformed a popular short story of KP Poornachandra Tejaswi into possibly the best adaptation of the author’s work into a movie ever. Capturing both the amusing fun and the social fragilities of Tejaswi’s story was never an easy task. Debutant director Shashank Soghal not only manages to recreate the folktale world of Tejaswi but also supplements them with a few more lovable characters of his own and charming bits of story alterations.

The story is set in a not-so-distant past. But the situations are so current that they could have happened yesterday or are just waiting to happen tomorrow. In the quaint town of Abachuru, a nondescript college is shaken by the arrival of Jamal Abdul Musthafa Hussain, its first Muslim student. The small town has its own history of Hindu-Muslim clashes and the young minds in the college are ready to open a new battle line.

For those who have read Tejaswi’s story, you need not worry about your foresight. The film offers appreciably more and would have made the author proud. The additions compliment the original story without deviating from the substance of the work or the intention of the author.

The everyday characters in the film are experiencing the biggest events of their lives. Through the actions of these ordinary folks, the extraordinary complexity of human relationships, feelings and failings come to the fore. It is amazing how each and every character is made so believable. There are a bunch of new faces, but is seems they were plucked straight out of the world of Abachuru. Not one of them is out of place. This is a big achievement of the director. Another of his triumphs is the humour; sometimes dry, sometimes plain, sometimes hilarious but always subtle that permeates the narrative.

The film is a big tribute to a great writer no doubt, but more significantly, a much needed antidote to the bitterness that pervades our time. Tejaswi’s work could not have been more relevant. Soghal ensures that this film is not preachy or provocative. It is a beautifully crafted entertaining movie which injects its message of fraternity unassumingly.

The brilliant performances of the entire cast, the cinematographer’s brilliant effort at placing the audience in the middle of the events and the calm and composed feeling the music provides are the highlights on the technical front. Did Tejaswi return to write dialogues for this movie? There are very few films where the efforts of the entire cast and crew fall into place so naturally. Daredevil Musthafa is one such. It is a must-watch; an oasis in the summer of hate.

Daredevil Musthafa

Film: Daredevil Musthafa
Director: Shashank Soghal
Cast: Shishira Baikady, Aditya Ashree, Prerana Gowda, Poornachandra Mysuru, Mandya Ramesh, Nagabhushan
Duration: 160 minutes
Certificate: U
Language: Kannada
Platform: Theatres


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