S Shyam Prasad
Sticking to hardcore entertainment elements of bigger stunts, grander songs and haughtier one-liners is a safe bet for superstars. It is after all entertainment that fans are seeking. But carrying the burden of societal concerns; the so-called ‘message’ in such movies is a blessing in disguise. It makes the star a real person, giving the omnipotent persona a reality check. When the two blend, it is an unstoppable idea.
In this Darshan’s star-vehicle, a critical crisis in school education is addressed and the superhero is called upon to solve it. Director Harikrishana has however made it into two separate narratives. Kranti feels like two separate stories running in parallel. One is the hero’s parade. This part is an attempt to make the fans hoot, shout and gyrate every ten minute. The second story is about the crisis of school education. The gist of this is the question; why would parents send their children to pricy private schools if Government schools were good enough? Not one character asks this question in the movie.
The two stories merge only in the second half. So, the first half needs to be forgotten as a potboiler. The hero’s solution to the crisis is quite revolutionary if impracticably dramatic. Resolving the problem is only made possible due to his fighting abilities and inexhaustible resources.
This is where the blending of the two narratives needed to be handled more subtly. You wish the hero had his vulnerabilities, so that the task looked more daunting. The story however takes the easier way out by casting aspersions on the hero’s character for a while before restoring his impeccable nature. This is the director’s burden of shouldering a superstar’s project. So the audiences have to endure the entertainment to get to the message.
The film also has a romance element, where Rachita Ram’s character does what is required in a hero’s film. The family drama however provides latitude for Ravichandran, Umashree and Mukyamantri Chandru to put up performances. Once again, the opportunity to encash on the emotions in these scenes is lost. Imagine meeting after 20 years and not really bothering.
The director relies heavily on the broad shoulders of Darshan and the fight masters. The magic of his music is in the Pushpavati song while the rest are pushovers. The film has a few crackling masala moments in the second half and a good concern in the underlying theme. But even a well-rounded commercial entertainer demands more control on the storytelling. Every scene has to count. Overall, Kranti is insufferable entertainment.
Film: Kranti Director: V Harikrishna Cast: Darshan, Rachita Ram, V Ravichandran, P Ravishankar, Sadhu Kokila, Mukyamantri Chandru Duration: 164 minutes Certificate: U/A Language: Kannada