Actor Ramesh Arvind has proved his talent in many Kannada films. Yet, the Tamil film industry has not utilised his potential. The actor is at his intellectual best in a new film Rama Shama Bhama, a remake of the Tamil Hit Sati Leelavathi produced 15 years ago. Ramesh wields the megaphone for the first time and comes out in flying colours. This fabulous comedy also marks Kamal Haasan's return to Kannada films after 18 years' hiatus. The combination of these two giants on screen would itself warrant a huge interest and the film certainly matches it.
The plot revolves around the 7-year itch syndrome when a happily married husband starts philandering. The film is all about how his family copes with the new situation and teaches the betrayer a lesson. Finally all ends well with the intervention of a good doctor, a classmate of the adulterous husband.
Some great dialogues and riveting performances by many artists, especially Kamal Hassan, help the film score. In the Kannada film, Kamal and Ramesh play the same roles that they played in the Tamil original, but other roles have been suitably juggled with.
Ramesh makes some subtle changes in the script. The earlier film was made at a time when mobile phones, SMS and e-mails were not in vogue. The new script has some sequences featuring these new communication tools. The Kannada remake is all about style and technical expertise. And, therefore, it will be demeaning for Ramesh to say that the film is just a remake of Sati Leelavathi. Only glitch seems to be the music, which could be better.
Kamal comes out with an outstanding performance in which he surpasses himself in Tamil comedy like Tenali, Avvai Shanmughi, Panchathanthram and even Sati Leelavathi. Kamal's Hubli accent is sure to have the audience in splits. Ramesh has also excelled as an actor, though he gets more marks as a director. Among the female artists, Oorvashi and Shruthi take the cake. Shruthi is exceptional in the climax. Daisy Bopanna (Garam Masala) oozes glamour and plays her role adequately. Veteran Dattatreya has a role to suit his talent.
The film sees some spectacular work by photographer P K H Doss and dialogue writers Yeshwanth Sardeshpande and Rajendra Karanth. Director Ramesh has relied on some new talents for this essential part of the film and has succeeded in getting the best from them. Kannada film industry will do well to utilize these brilliant names of theatre.
Rama Shama Bhaama is a wholesome family entertainer.