Shivaraj Kumar returns to play a good brother in the Kannada film, Bandhu Balaga, a family drama directed by Naganna. The film holds the interest of the audience because of its pace and the unexpected twists in the second half. Overall it is a good film with a lot of sentimental sequences.
The major attraction of the film is the story, which does not have a single dull moment. Naganna has succeeded in his efforts to bring the best out of all his artists; big and small. He has followed the traditional path of narrating a sentimental yarn while at the same time, refraining from using gimmicks in cinematography.
The story is simple: Subramanya is the illegitimate son of a rich man whose legitimate sons live abroad. Subramanya is a very popular person in his village because he always helps people in distress. He has a doting sister of marriageable age.
Trouble starts when Subramanya's father shares the property equally between his legitimate and illegitimate children. The legitimate children comprising of three brothers descend on the village and threaten Subramanya to sign over his share of the property to them. Subramanya agrees with one condition -- the entire family should attend his sister's marriage celebration. The greedy brothers agree. How the matter is resolved makes up the rest of the story.
Shivraj Kumar has perfected the art of playing the role of elder brother in films like Tavarige Baa Thangi, Anna Thangi and Tavarina Siri. He once again plays the loving brother in Bandhu Balaga. Tejaswini is good as his sister. Shashi Kumar, Dharma, Harish Raj, Doddanna, Swarna, Hema Choudhary perfectly fit in their respective roles. Among the two heroines, it is Jyothirmayee who proves her mettle.
Hamsalekha is the real hero of the film scoring melodious songs like Maduve Endare Sambrama, Koogalu Kareyalu Seralu and Ninna Bittu Naanu. Ramesh Babu has shot some pleasing visuals. Dialogues by Keshava Audithya are touching.
All in all, Bandhu Balaga is an enjoyable fare for the entire family.