There are many road films out there like the 1934 Hollywood classic It happened one Night. Kannada cinema has a few too, though most of them aren't original.
Ambari (The Howdah) written by debutant Arjun, an assistant of Ravichandran, is another film in the genre. Arjun's concept of a Journey from Bangalore to Taj Mahal on a cycle may look a little farfetched while the film's narrative style reminds us of many road films we have seen before. The major incidents in the film occur on a journey undertaken by the film's hero with the heroine.
Ambari revolves around Dhanush (Yogi), a cobbler by profession. He has an irresponsible drunkard father. Saro, the daughter of a rich man loves Dhanu for his helpful nature and innocence. Dhanush however, rejects Saro's overtures. Undeterred by this, she walks out of her house to be with him. They then undertake a bicycle journey. Meanwhile, Saro's father engages a gangster to kill Dhanu and bring Saro back.So how does Ambari fare? Well, lack of good comedy as well as fresh elements makes it an ordinary fare. Even the sequences where the hero and heroine tattoo each other's name on their hands has been done before. Plus, there is the illogical script where the hero does not show any fatigue or energy loss despite the long bicycle journey. He is even shown bashing up ten villains and ten policemen even after crossing more than seven hundred kilometres.
But for the fantastic musical score by Hari Krishna and excellent camera work by Sathya Hegde, Ambari would have been completely forgotten. Director Arjun's dialogues have a local touch, though they too smack of dialogues from other films. Art director Dinesh Mangalore has done a neat job.
Yogi's distinct style of dialogue delivery will certainly appeal to his fans. The innocence in his voice and his body language suits the character. Newcomer Supreetha impresses while Petrol Prasanna as the villain is really irritating.
Ambari could have been more interesting but it ends up as just an average fare.