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19.20.21 (Kannada) - The BEAUTY and IRONY of Indian Cinema and its new-age maestros, not known to a big majority of our population.

04 Mar, 2023 | Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / A / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Just In / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi) / Movie Reviews / 2023 Releases / Movies To See Before You Die / Biographical

The unique feature of our cinema is its diversity in terms of various languages and regions that even surprise cinema lovers all over the world. That is the beauty of our Indian Cinema, which also has an irony associated in terms of lack of awareness about our own films and the master filmmakers, among the Indians living in different parts of the country and abroad.

The scenario was the same in the initial decades until Doordarshan started airing must-watch films in different languages with English subtitles in the 1980s and 90s. It brought some kind of awareness, but that wasn’t enough, as such airings were mostly referred to as art-house cinema, evaded by the majority.

The new millennium and the age of the internet (read torrents) brought in the much-desired change enhancing the beauty of Indian cinema in the eyes of cinema lovers all over the world. But ironically, even after the introduction of OTT and dubbed films making a killing at the box office, we still have a big number of films that neither release in theatres out of their region (in original or dubbed forms) nor get written about either by the critics or netizens beyond a region in their specific regional language.
That remains the reason that even in this present age of information, a big percentage of our population is not aware of many cinematic gems being made in other parts of the country by the lesser-known new-age maestros, deserving attention and wide appreciation.
One of these exceptionally talented filmmakers is writer-director Mansore, who has been delivering one gem after another, as meaningful, socially thought-provoking movies capable of shocking the viewers and the authorities. But unfortunately, his works are still not known to many outside of the Kannada cinema circles, representing the sad irony of our so diverse Indian Cinema.
His first film, HARIVU, released in 2014, made me go into a silent mode for a few days and I still could not write about it (even after so many years) as I just couldn’t. The film simply turned me numb and speechless, and I still feel the same thinking about its sequences even in 2023. Perhaps this is going to stay with me forever because of a personal emotional connection. 
So, if you haven’t seen or heard about the film, then please don’t read anything anywhere about its theme before you watch it. Even a word read about it in advance will make you lose a rare, precious, and innocent opportunity to feel the meaning of what we so easily refer to as Life, Relationship, and Death.
HARIVU deservingly won the National Award and so did Mansore’s next film, NATHICHARAMI (2018) dealing with another rare and lesser talked about subject of a young lonely widow and her thought process involving her physical and emotional needs. NATHICHARAMI deserves to be seen, realizing the amazing fact that the film talking about and representing women has actually not been made by a female director.
Continuing his work on socially relevant subjects as a responsible filmmaker, Mansore made ACT 1978 that came as the first Kannada release post the Covid era in 2020. The impressive film once again pointed fingers toward our questionable governing system and its shameful exploitation of the weak and the underprivileged. ACT 1978 can also be quoted as a film intentionally made to find a balance between commercial and meaningful cinema as a fast-paced crime thriller. However, it yet again made its presence felt both among the viewers as well as the reputed award circles because of its bold subject.
Coming back to the form, in 2023, Mansore has returned with his most significant and soul-stirring film titled 19.20.21 – meaning of which you will come to know while watching the shocking on-screen proceedings. As a brutal eye-opener revolving around true incidents, 19.20.21 makes us aware of how tribals feel, going through the constant mental and physical torture by the nexus of police, politicians, and industrialists, eyeing the natural resources. It reveals the story of a young student who gets falsely arrested for being connected with the Naxals and then continues suffering the horrifying trauma for years, waiting for justice. Following an engaging non-linear narrative, the film makes you feel the humiliation, looking at the way the tribals get treated by the officials and Mansore effectively captures their helpless state, suffering the unnecessary torture.
As an amalgamation of encounters with naxals, police atrocities, the ugly greed of politicians, and courtroom drama (with no filmy moments), realistically representing the judicial system of the country, 19.20.21 is an important film of the current times that purposefully creates awareness about the basic, decisive features of our Constitution of India.
The performances make the film shine, they provide soul to the narrative and the terrified, sad faces stay in front of your eyes long after the film is over. In the end, it also makes one think that what would have been the harsh and unknown reality if the journalist, activist, and lawyer had not stood up for a fight against the corrupt system supporting the poor victim? 
Setting an example of perfect teamwork behind the cinematography, art direction, background score, and writing, Mansore yet again delivers and surpasses his standards set in the previous attempts (with HARIVU not being considered for any comparisons whatsoever).
19.20.21 is a must-watch new age classic without a doubt, but while watching its moving climax, I also realized how the best cinema made within the country still doesn’t reach its audience living in other parts of the nation speaking different languages. Here a similar genre film like JAI BHIM (2021) gets wide acclaim and recognition, more because of the stars associated with it instead of the socially relevant and eye-opener subject. 19.20.21 does the same, and even excels in comparison, without any star attraction, pre-release promotional campaign, or a simultaneous release in dubbed forms in other parts of the country.
That is exactly how the problematic distribution system and public response pattern in our nation never let such important, non-star-studded films reach a wider audience. And that is also the reason many of our new-age maestros, like Mansore, are not known to a big proportion of our cinema-loving nation, missing their significant works.
The situation is sad, but the silver lining is that we still have brave filmmakers and production houses believing in making cinema for a cause, spreading awareness about the minorities and our Constitution of India. Besides it is so heartening to know that we still have social activists, journalists, and lawyers standing alongside the exploited, risking their own lives.
Perhaps the world survives and keeps on going because of these few blessed, courageous people with a heart.
Summing up, do not miss Mansore’s 19.20.21 as it is a powerful eye-opener film showcasing us the mirror. And if possible, try to catch all his films to date as they deserve to be seen at the earliest, sincerely made for a cause.
Rating: 4 / 5 (Released in Theatres)

(19.20.21 also gets featured in the ‘Movies To See Before You Die’ list at Bobbytalkscinema.com for its subject, relevance and courage behind the making.)

Bobby Sing

Tags : 19.20.21 Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Kannada Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Regional Films Reviews by Bobby Sing
04 Mar 2023 / Comments ( 2 )

hello bobby sir, i come around our blogs to find the must watch movies every now and then, also to read reviews after watching some movies i liked very much, to know deeper analysis of them....
Sometimes I come to face some beautiful movies whose reviews are not on your blog
what brings me here today is request to review Fandry 2013 Marathi movie by Nagraj Manjule
Happy Holi


Sir, Please review Fandry(2013) Marathi Movie

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