P Sheshadri deserves applause for making a film like Thuttoori. He is one Kannada film director who is focused and makes quality films on social issues like exploitation, terrorism and corruption. All three films he has made so far -- Munnudi, Athithi and Beru -- have won national honours. Unfortunately, he has to struggle to release each of his films.
Thuttoori (the bugle) is a children's film that deals with the concerns of kids denied the luxury of playing outdoors because of a lack of playgrounds. Sheshadri argues that creative inputs of children are restricted because of this, as they are forced to focus on computer games and cricket without getting a chance to play traditional rural games.
The film is produced by actress Jayamala, who earlier produced Thaayi Saaheba (directed by Girish Kasaravalli), which won the Best Film award at the national level. She also won the Best Actress award. Jayamala continues to make quality films and this one is made because her daughter Soundarya wanted her to. At a time when children's films have become a rarity, Thuttoori is certainly welcome.
What makes the film interesting is the plot and the way Sheshadri narrates. You can see the child artistes enjoying themselves. There is also a hidden message for parents that children should be allowed to grow and learn things in their own way. They should be allowed to play with their friends.
Thuttoori deals with a bunch of children lost in the confines of their homes and computer games. They accidentally meet a boy from a rural area, Shivalingu, who tells them about the pleasures of playing traditional games. But these city dwellers have no playground. They spot a vacant space, but the ground belongs to a rich, sick man. Although he agrees to let them play, his US-returned son wants to sell it. The children clean the space and create their own 'Thuttoori Park'. The rich man's grandson, who has also returned from America, enjoys the company of these children. What happens next forms the climax.
Cameraman H M Ramachandra is another hero here. Hamsalekha's music is very good, especially the song Cricket, Cricket, which is really impressive.The art director has also done a commendable job.
Sheshadri has been able to elicit splendid performances from all children acting in the film with good support from Prahlad, the dialogue writer, whose dialogues are sharp and precise. Karthik Sharma as Shivalingu is the best among the children, while Dattanna is, as usual, very good.
Do take your kids to see this one.