Director S Mahendar's Kannada film Akka Thangi is a real surprise! Here is an emotionally engaging film made on a reasonable budget with a strong story, good narration and pleasing music.
From the first scene, the emphasis is clearly on the content and not on technical excellence.
Akka Thangi is based on the Govina Haadu or Punyakoti song known to practically every person who has had his secondary education in Karnataka. The song, written by an anonymous writer, is about a tiger prowling on an innocent cow as it grazes on the fields. The cow requests the tiger to give it some time to feed its calf and make arrangements for its future. As promised, the cow comes back to the tiger after feeding the calf and requesting the other cows to take care its calf in its absence. The tiger, stunned by the honesty of the cow, repents. The cow says that God will not forgive those who do not value truth and honesty. In a sudden twist, the tiger ends its life by jumping from the mountains.
Director S Mahendar draws inspiration from this song but downplays the drama and yet makes an interesting film that is certain to touch your heart strings. It will be difficult to come out of the theatres without shedding a tear or two. This is the film for the family audience.
The director has chosen the temple town of Male Mahadeshwara Hills as the back drop and has used the Kollegala Kannada dialect as the language.
Yes, the movie moves at a slow pace in the first half, but gathers pace in the second half. On the downside, as the Govina Haadu story is well known, nothing is unpredictable in the film.
Akka Thangi is the story of two sisters; Nagi and Kaveri who are orphaned early in their life. Nagi is focused on her sister's education and rejects all offer of marriage.
True, Akka Thangi does not boast of a big star cast. Why do you need those stars in a film like this? Award-winning actress Shruthi makes a deep impression as the elder sister. Rashmi, who impressed us in her first film Duniya, gets another great role. But it is Kishor in the role of Huliyappa who stands out with another strong performance. Sharan, M N Lakshmi Devi, and Shankar Rao have also done well in the comedy sequences.
V Manohar's music is the other plus point of the film. The famous Govina Haadu has been used in the film with some alterations. The folk song Badavanaadhare Enu Priye is touchingly picturised, and rendered well by director S Mahendar. The climax song is sure to touch your heart strings.
Akka Thangi is a must-see for all those who like realistic films.