Sirivantha will be remembered for a long time for the mesmerising performance by Vishnuvardhan. It is director S Narayan's film all the way, and finding even a small flaw is difficult. Narayan's contributions as a writer and lyricist also warrant mention. Vishnu's large fan following will certainly place this film next only to the much acclaimed Yajamana -- the biggest box office hit in Kannada film history.
The film is an honest remake of the Telugu film Aa Naluguru, that was directed by Chandra Siddarth with Rajendra Prasad as the hero. It won a Golden Nandi award for Best Film. Sirivantha has that special quality about it though, making it look like an original Kannada film. For instance, the protagonist Narayana Murthy looks every inch an honest and hardworking middle class Kannadiga. His body language, the way he dresses and delivers his dialogues, all belong to the Kannada milieu.
Sirivantha revolves around Murthy, whose ideals always conflict with those of others. Despite coming into confrontation with his children and relatives, he remains the same honest, idealistic man. Ultimately, when he finds it difficult to withstand the pressure, he takes the extreme step of ending his life. His sons realise his worth only after his death.
Vishnuvardhan's poignant performance reminds us of Raj Kumar's performances in films like Jeevana Chaithra and Kasthoori Nivasa. Shruthi is a perfect foil, and another notable performance comes from veteran actor Doddanna. In fact, he steals the show from under the noses of Dr. Vishnu and Shruthi in the last scenes.
As for director S Narayan, one can only say that he is best at his craft. He has been delivering hits continuously and Sirivantha will be the latest. The music by S A Raj Kumar is good, especially the two songs Yaaro Yaaro and Badiyithu Sidilu. Megha Megha, which has become extremely popular, is absent in the film though.
Definitely a landmark film, not only for director S Narayan and Vishnuvardhan, but for all associated with it.