Star Cast: Reba Monica John, Rajesh Nataranga, Dhananjaya
Director: Rohith Padaki
What’s Good: Umashree and Dhananjaya’s impeccable act and the heart of the film that is in the right place. The search for one’s identity and where it ends.
What’s Bad: The runtime seems a bit too long.
Loo Break: Pause and take. Do not miss the movie.
Watch or Not?: Please do. It is one of those melodramatic (in a good way) movies that will make you cry if you have lost someone or maybe found them. Go in.
Language: Kannada (with subtitles).
Available on: Amazon Prime Video.
Runtime: 147 Minutes.
Rathnakara (Dhananjaya) and his mother (Saroj, Umashree) are each other’s nemesis whom they love more than themselves, but their way of showing affection is through anger. One day Rathna finds out that he is adopted and he has two other siblings somewhere in India. He sets out to find his roots and learns the value of relationships the hard way.
Rathnan Prapancha Movie Review: Script Analysis
Rathnan Prapancha meaning Rathna’s world takes cues from Greek mythology’s iconic story of Oedipus. The king who in the search of truth, left his present behind and then began his downfall. Of course, that could not be what Rohith Padaki had in mind while writing the movie, but the resemblance is uncanny. Whom do you call your mother, the one that nurtured you, or the one that brought you into this world? Rathna is put to test with this one question and asked to solve the mystery.
Finally, Kannada cinema is jumping through boundaries and trying to talk to the world. Rohith does not follow the done to death template, where the mother-son is the best example of a duo (that is there too, but not in the main conflict). Here the mother and son are already at loggerheads. They could kill each other if not bound by the relation. Amid this, he makes his lead man realise that he is adopted. How would he react? What will happen?
With Rathna, Padaki explores the human psyche that is already agitated and then triggered more by the truth of his existence. He sets out on a journey to find his roots. In this journey, he meets his long lost sister who then leads him to his brother. Rohith Padaki here makes sure to be inclusive and show the diversity of the country. The sister is adopted by a Muslim family, they go to Kashmir, live their culture. The youngest goes to a rich family in the South. Apart from being born out of the same womb, nothing is common amid these three.
The underline message is not sabotaged by overdramatic emotions here. Live in the present, walk with it. Of course, look into the past too, but hold hands with what you have now. Rathnan gets to know it the tougher way. And it will make you cry. Padaki knows motherhood pretty well. He in the runtime shows you how motherhood is not limited to a gender, but the warmth of the hands who decide to nurture a child.
What works against the movie is the time Padaki is setting the base. If not for the calibre of the amazing actors Dhananjaya and Umashree are, I would have lost interest in the first 15 minutes. The moment when Rathnan is told about his truth is so generally treated that the effect of it doesn’t hit us until the stories begin to unfold.
Rathnan Prapancha Movie Review: Star Performance
Umashree is a seasoned actor and no words can describe what she does on screen. This comes to her naturally. Dhananjaya enters the screen with his dad body and in an instantly likeable irritated angry young man. You want something good to happen to him. But if the good happens in the first few minutes, will you even watch the rest of the movie?
The relationship the two share is layered. He calls her Saroj and not mother, she abuses him even while telling him to touch her feet. When he is away, she keeps calling him to know when he is coming back, when he does, they end up fighting. The two actors are seamless together.
Shruti and Pramod Panju are other mother-son pair who win hearts. Both the actors get staple parts to play, but they don’t let it look staple at any point. Reba Monica John is also impressive in her part. She gets a layer where she is forcing herself into the marriage that will solve her problems, but later realises her worth.
Rathnan Prapancha Movie Review: Direction, Music
Rohith Padaki is also the director and is almost in control of his source material. He uses the landscapes he is shooting in and makes the most of it. His sense of using lights in a frame with the help of DOP Shreesha Kuduvalli is commendable. Kuduvalli with her camera goes wide when needed and makes the places look more beautiful with her vision. Specifically, in the portion Shruti enters the frame, they look magnificent.
The runtime though could have been a bit shorted. 147 minutes seem to be a task. Also, B. Ajaneesh Loknath comes up with some fresh music and one that will surely be remembered for some time at least.
Rathnan Prapancha Movie Review: The Last Word
Rathnan Prapancha is a movie that is melodramatic but in the correct proportions. Dhananjaya and Umashree make sure you don’t feel alien at any moment. Go for this experience.
Also Check Out Our Bhramam Movie Review For Prithviraj Sukumaran’s Respectful Remake Of Andhadhun!
Rathnan Prapancha Trailer
Rathnan Prapancha releases on 22nd October 2021.
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