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KANTARA (Kannada/Hindi) - The beginning, the end, powerful music, and the lead performance makes this Rishabh Shetty show a not to be missed film in theaters. (Review by Bobby Sing)

16 Oct, 2022 | Just In / Movie Reviews / 2022 Releases

Not often comes a film that compels you to ask who this exceptional writer-actor-director is, with such splendid vision and what projects he has made in the past. KANTARA is one of those powerful films that makes you raise the question and thus can easily be included in the list of best Indian movies of 2022.
It’s a unique film as it achieves an almost impossible task of amalgamating, action, romance, emotions, drama, comedy, masala, politics, tradition, culture, social division, corruption, mystery, horror, spiritualism, and God, all into one well-written script, executed superbly. That is certainly not an easy task to achive, keeping the traditional feel intact as a deeply rooted film. 
Though the script has a familiar middle hour with nothing fresh or novel, the clever narrative still keeps you involved through all praiseworthy performances and an outstanding lead act by Rishabh Shetty. The film showcases his mastery over the medium both on and off the screen as the writer-director and the impressive lead actor (playing the double role).
Following a seen-before kind of middle act, KANTARA quickly moves into a predictable zone wherein the underdog is expected to step into his father’s shoes carrying forward the tradition. But despite this, Shetty successfully delivers an incredibly visualised, well-shot, mesmerising climax that makes you forget the weaker moments of the film, staying in the wow zone. 
In fact, it’s the beginning and the end, accompanied by a brilliantly composed soundtrack and background score, which makes Kantara a must-watch in the theatres without any doubt. Essentially to be seen on the bigger screen, because such films ought to lose their charm when experienced on TV, forget the 5-6 inches mobile phones. Plus, it’s the cinematography, visuals and the soundtrack that create an entirely different aura in the theatre, which just cannot be there in any smaller display.
Having said that, it’s also not right to call Kantara, a completely novel attempt or something never tried before on the Indian screen. That would be an exaggeration, to be honest, along with a display of lack of knowledge of our cinema of the past.
Interestingly, Hindi cinema had this genre presenting an amalgamation of religion, mythology, mysticism, life, and art back in the 1970s and 80s. And we witnessed outstanding cinema from this genre in films such as BAGH BAHADUR, KONDURA, and DEBSHISHU, minus the masala. Post the mid-90s, it all sadly got lost in the over-commercialisation of the art and Hindi cinema suffered, still struggling to find its lost ground. But then the other fact is that who is going to watch such experimental films in theatre at the cost of high-priced multiplex tickets in this new-age?
The impact of the business taking over the art is also visible in Kantara, wherein the makers are not willing (or allowed) to rely only upon mysticism and therefore had to add all the repetitive clashes and typical drama in the middle-act. That is exactly why the film cannot be put into the category of those path-breaking movies of our cinema, capable or responsible for the desired change.
However, that doesn’t take away anything from the praiseworthy effort made by Rishabh Shetty and the team taking a big risk. In the present scenario, it’s certainly difficult or close to impossible to make a film that just relies upon its artistic expressions, staying away from all the known commercial elements. The new millennium has effectively taught us this art of sugar-coating such content to find our ticket buyers.
In all, do watch KANTARA in theatres, preferably in its original language along with English subtitles. Also, try not to read/watch/discuss anything about its basic theme or storyline before watching the film, because it is bound to have a mixed response in the Hindi belt in particular and any prior information will ruin your experience by taking away the surprise element.
Unfortunately, deeply rooted films based on regional culture, religion and tradition have formed a new problematic genre in Hindi Cinema. That's the reason, there cannot be a Hindi remake of this new Kannada hit pointing towards a strong cultural tradition.
Rating: 3.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for the one-man show conceived and enacted by Rishabh Shetty extracting such powerful visuals and music from his chosen cinematographer and music composer.) 

Tags : KANTARA film review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Kannada Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Rishabh Shetty Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Indian Regional Language cinema reviews by Bobby Sing
16 Oct 2022 / Comments ( 4 )
Pehowa Painting

Congratulations team KANTARA 


Bobby Sing

Thanks for visiting and writing in.


Thanks for recommendation.  Watched it today hindi version nearly full show.

Bobby Sing

Truly my pleasure. Glad to know that you liked it and the film is doing well in the other regions too.

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