Santha is another addition to the list of gangster films that are hitting Kannada theatres. Two weeks ago, it was Upendra who essayed the role of a gangster, Maasti.
Shivaraj Kumar is no stranger to gangster roles having played one in his earlier films like OM and Jog. The only difference is the narrative, which does not match OM's.
Director Murali Mohan, who had assisted Upendra in OM, has used the same formula of a poor and innocent youngster caught in the web of underworld. Writer Ajay Kumar adds sentiment to this gory drama where swords and sickle are freely used by all and sundry in the film.
The script is the weak component of this film, which has some good camerawork by C S V Seetharam and good music by Guru Kiran. Nagendra Urs also wins with his sharp editing in some key sequences.
But all this technical expertise means little to the film which is bogged down by too many action sequences and a narration that drags in the first half.
Real life cop H T Sangliana, who is also a member of Parliament, plays the role of the Police Commissioner.
Santha comes to the city in search of a job and wants to earn money for the medical treatment of his mentally challenged sisters. He meets a girl and falls for her. However, problems assail him, one of them dealing with a local notorious gangster, Naga. Many twists and turns later, Santha loses his lady love only to marry her later.
Shivaraj Kumar has done a decent job and is fantastic in the jail sequences with Komal, who is has also acted commendably. The two heroines of the film, however, are wasted. Arati Chabbria's dance number will certainly wow movie goers.
Santha could have been much better if director Murali Mohan had worked hard on the script and had writer Ajay Kumar not dished another run-of-the-mill story.