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Good film about a deadly don
RG Vijayasarathy |
August 29, 2005 18:43 IST
Underworld always sells, at least as far as entertainment is concerned. Taking cue from this unwritten convention, Ravi Srivatsa, a known scriptwriter for many Kannada films, has turned to direction for the first time with Deadly Soma based on journalist Ravi Belagere's book Papigala Lokadalli.
The film focuses on the life and times of Bangalore's notorious underworld don Somashekhara alias Soma whose rise (read fall) to criminal reign was sharp and fast. He was killed in a controversial encounter by a police officer
B B Ashok Kumar who claimed Soma and his accomplice had shot the policeman on duty and tried to escape. The police version was disputed by some activists but the controversy died its natural death.
The film takes us on to some unknown facets of the don. It reveals that Soma was studious and hardworking in his younger days and stood 121st in the matriculation examination. But destiny had willed otherwise and Soma became an underworld don.
Though Srivatsa tries not to glorify Soma's character, the message comes through: the don was a victim of circumstances and led an innocent life until he was dragged into the cesspool of unlawful activities. The director's version can be contested but his presentation is sure to earn him critical acclaim. It is nice to see writer-turned-directors proving their mettle in southern India. Malayalam film-writer Blessy came out with a topper Kazcha with Mammootty, Telugu writer Trivikram Srinivas did it in Mahesh Babu-starrer Athadu released recently with Srivatsa following suit.
Soma hailed from a small village. In spite of being known as the best student, he was involved in a bash up with the brother of a notorious don. While in college, he came across an young girl Rakshitha whom he marries later. During a trip to his native village, Soma is driven to assault his father's partner after knowing that his father was threatened and bashed up by the goons of his partner's gang. Soma lands up in jail where he meets a small-time underworld functionary. The latter remains his accomplice till the end.
Audithya delivers a powerful performance. He deserves special praise considering this is his third film. He looks great, especially in the fight sequences. Rakshitha looks good only in the songs as she gets to do very little otherwise. National Award winning actors Tara and Avinash win audience's hearts by high-voltage performances. Devaraj carries his role of a dynamic police officer well. All the other artists put in good shows.
An almost flawless technical team lends credence to this high-quality film. Sadhu Kokila's music comes as a bonus. So does Mathew's photography. However, the film does suffer from some glitches.
Though it starts off like a documentary, the plot takes up too many shapes towards the middle. The narration, rather unexpectedly, acquires commercial overtones. Srivatsa's repeated attempts at proving Soma's innocence come to the fore throughout the film's entire length.
The shortcomings notwithstanding, Deadly Soma proves to be a good film. Directed by a debutant and performed by a hero of unproven credentials, there is no denying that the film comes as a surprise and should do well.