Actress Vijayalakshmi Singh is the latest addition to the small list of women directors in Kannada. Ee Bandhana, her first directorial venture is likely to please critics and fans alike for its slick presentation and top class performances from all artists.
She also leads a team of brilliant technicians, like cameraman Ajay Vincent, music director Mano Murthy and editor Kemparaj, all of which have done their jobs fantastically.
Vijayalakshmi Singh has mounted her film well and has the support of artists like Dr Vishnuvardhan, Anant Nag, Tara, Darshan, Jayaprada, Jennifer and Doddanna to narrate the story, which we have seen many times before. What goes in favour of Ms Singh is her choice of artists and technicians.
Ee Bhandana is the remake of the Kannada film School Master directed by B R Panthulu, was in turn a remake of a Marathi film. In fact School Master, which was based on a Hollywood hit, was remade in Malayalam in the early sixties.
The story is about an old couple who are very much attached to each other but forced into separation by their children -- Each parent has to stay in their respective children's house. The separation and the humiliation they face in the house of their children lead to many tragic situations. Finally the old couple is united thanks to an orphan who was brought up lovingly by the couple.
We have seen this story many a times in many versions and in different languages, the latest being the Hindi film Baghban starring Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini starrer.
But what makes Ee Bhandana likeable is the touching emotional content. It is sure to appeal to the family audience.
The film comes on track from the first scene, which is a song sequence and continues till touching climax, which is not seen in Kannada films in recent times.
Performance wise, almost everyone has given their best. Dr Vishnuvardhan is simply mesmerizing, and Anant Nag speaking in the North Karnataka accent is also top class.
Jayaprada's smile and dance movements are certain to attract even the young hearts and her performance can be described as the best in her long career.
Darshan has given a spirited performance as well as a touching one in the climax scene.
Tara suits her role while Jennifer is a livewire in the Banna Banna song, which is one of the best choreographed dances in the film.
Technically too the film is brilliant.
Mano Murthy has given some good tunes like Idhe Bhoomi Idhe Bhaanu, Chanda Ninna Chandramukhi and Banna Banna. Ajay Vincent provides a rich look.
Vijayalakshmi Singh is sure to go places and Ee Bhandana clearly proves her abundant talents in the field of direction.
A film worth watching