Love and adversity make for strange bedfellows. When one comes across love at the most inconvenient time possible, there is hesitancy that one faces, especially if one were to believe that one does not deserve love, or to be loved. Debutant director Senna Hegde attempts to give us a glimpse of what goes on in the minds of broken birds when the matters of the heart take control.
Tarun (Diganth) is a young entrepreneur struggling to keep his passion project, a holiday resort, afloat while resisting a buyout bid from a local builder. When a guest, Tanya (Pooja Devariya), shows up at the resort in the strangest circumstances possible, Tarun finds himself quite taken by her, and Tanya finds herself slowly being drawn into his world, populated by his loving uncle and aunt (Babu Hirannaiah and Aruna Balraj), and his supportive staff (Ashwin Rao Pallakki, Shreya Anchan and Prakash Thuminadu). But can these 2 wounded souls put aside their emotional baggage long enough to find love again?
Barely a few minutes into the movie, and one question that’ll strike you is if this is really the work of a debutant director? Senna Hegde who’s also written the story and screenplay for the movie, handles a sensitive and mature subject with absolute restraint and finesse, without giving in to any “filmi” excesses.
It is rare to come across a movie that captures the still pace of everyday life, with the interactions between the characters seeming real and organic. The characters of Tarun and Pooja have been carefully constructed, and it shows on screen as they don’t strike even a single false note. Sreeraj Raveendran’s cinematography and Sachin Warrier’s music complement the screenplay perfectly, with the beauty of Karnataka’s coast being captured on screen with perfection.
Pooja Devariya who has constantly been wowing the critics with her performances in Tamil Cinema makes a brilliant debut in Kannada Cinema with what might be one of her best performances yet. She portrays the vulnerability of Tanya impeccably, and delivers a performance so breathtaking; you will not be able to take your eyes off her while she’s on screen. This is a star-making performance and no amount of superlatives can do it justice.
Diganth gets a mature part to play, and he portrays Tarun with charm and restraint. There is something to be said, that even during the scenes where Pooja delivers a powerhouse performance; you still end up noticing him in the background, his silences saying a lot. Babu Hirannaiah and Aruna Balraj are absolutely endearing as the loving uncle and aunt of Tarun, dealing with the onset of age with humor and affection. Ashwin Rao Pallaki and Shreya Anchan do a fair job, but it’s Prakash Thuminadu as the wisecracking cook who steals the show with his one-liners.
To sum it up, Katheyondu Shuruvagide is just what the Kannada industry needed as a benchmark for young and upcoming directors, a movie where the screenplay is king.