Ondu Preethiya Kathe means the 'story of love'. You can call it a triangular love story, or a different love story, considering this is the first time a Kannada director has handled one with Naxalism as the backdrop. With Naxalism spreading roots in many parts of Karnataka, the film can be termed topical, although the Naxal issue isn't the focal point in the story. The Censor Board has also made things difficult for the director, which explains why the word 'Naxalite' has been purged throughout the film.
Rajashekhara Rao, who has been part of the modern theatre movement, has weaved a neat story in this, his debut film. It starts off well, but falters. The impact of the story is lost at many places because of weak cinematography and editing. The comedy sequences are rather unnecessary. Also, the lighting does not at any time convey the mood of the story. Therefore, there are many sequences that remain mere events, failing to influence the audience.
Saakshi and Surya are deeply attracted to each other, but Surya one day moves out of the relationship. This sudden development shocks Saakshi, who develops a friendship with Sharat. This relationship fails to stabilize too. When Sharat also moves away from her, Saakshi goes to Sringeri to search for him. She finds Surya there, who has become a Naxalite by then. Saakshi is confused should she continue her search for Sharat, or strengthen her relationship with Surya? What happens next forms the climax.
The film's leads, Shankar Aryan and Narayana Swamy, are known faces from the Kannada tele-serial world. Yagna Shetty, a collegian from Mangalore, is the heroine. It is to the director's credit that he has been able to get the best out of his artists. Another tele serial actor, Rajesh, has also done his role perfectly. And there's also a cameo by the director.
Music director Gandharva has done wonders with the track Idhu Yaaro Baredha Kavana. Rajashekhara Rao's dialogues are good in parts.
Ondu Preethiya Kathe is a surprise. Despite its many flaws, such attempts need to be encouraged.