A brief summary of Sapta Saagaradache Ello – Side A: Manu, a driver, and his sweetheart Priya, both hail from humble backgrounds but share an attainable dream. However, in a pursuit for quick wealth, Manu lands in jail, seemingly marking the end of their journey together.
By the conclusion of Side A in this two-part film, Priya has married someone else. Despite Side A’s sensitive treatment and poetic visuals, it felt slow to me, almost as if the narrative was intentionally prolonged to create two films from a story that could have been contained in one. However, as is often the case with films with an interval, the true essence of the story unfolds in the second half – in this instance, Side B.
Side B stands out as markedly superior, undoubtedly ranking among the finest love stories on the Kannada screen. Few narratives delve into the post-love phase, where the lives of once-intertwined lovers have taken divergent paths, yet the essence of romance persists, refusing to fade away. The director injects a dose of action into this haunting portrayal, offering a fresh perspective on the lengths a lover boy turned lover man would go to for his love, even after she is no longer a part of his world.
Side B boasts several notable features, including standout performances by the actors, a mesmerizing treatment of sound, a commendable action sequence deserving a standing ovation, and a compelling storyline. The narrative, viewed voyeuristically from the protagonist’s perspective, teetered on the edge of being labeled as stalking. However, the director skillfully portrays it as a nuanced depiction of romantic extremism. It doesn’t come across as overdone but rather encapsulates the actions one might expect from an idealistic lover.
The actors’ performances compete for the title of the best, with Rakshit Shetty engaging in cinematic brilliance during his acting duels with Chaithra Achar, and Gopal Deshpande. Despite being relegated to being the visual object for most part of the film, Rukmini Vasanth skillfully conveys her role through body language alone.
The only aspect where the story may fall short is the absence of a clear deadline for the hero to achieve his self-imposed task. As established in Side A, we already know how he plans to acquire the necessary resources and the characters that will attempt to thwart him. Consequently, the film’s ‘action’ revolves around the emotional challenges faced by the hero rather than tasks that build anticipation for pivotal moments.
In Side B, the introduction of three significant new characters also primarily presents emotional challenges for the hero. While he easily connects with two of them, encountering difficulties only dealing with the third, the hero’s overwhelmingly positive characterization could have benefitted from a few more shades of grey to add complexity to his persona.
However, these academic nuances do little to diminish the impact of the evocative storytelling skillfully presented by Hemanth M Rao. The film navigates the complexities of love and emotional resilience, leaving an indelible mark on the audience.
Film: Sapta Saagaradache Ello: Side B, Director: Hemanth M Rao Cast: Rakshit Shetty, Chaithra Achar, Rukmini Vasanth, Ramesh Indira, Gopal Deshpande, Achyuth Kumar Duration: 147 minutes Certificate: U/A