Down the drain
Nothing is right about Tananam Tananam, where as little Kishan's film has much to rave about
Photos: Bhagyaprakash K. , K. Gopinathan
DIVERSE DIRECTORS Kavita Lankesh got nothing right while Kishan hit the bull's eye
Contrary to the general feeling that the multiplexes don't patronise Kannada films Inox were hosts to the premiere of the much-awaited Tananam Tananam. Though the briefing started half an hour late, Inox has to be appreciated for starting the film on time. The only problem was their choice of film. Any sort of creative pursuit requires a flair, which no school can teach. You also have to possess the ability to imbibe if you are uninitiated, theoretically. Only supreme talents like Mani Ratnam or Ramgopal Varma can create moments of celluloid magic by just watching movies. The best story can be marred by an inept screenplay. Tananam Tananam is definitely not a great story but has a promising premise. Kavita Lankesh has no idea about the structuring of a screenplay. Add the ill inserted songs and what you have is a mess. There are bits of Hamsageethe, Shankarabharanam and even Devdas. The comedy is embarrassing and there are inconsequential, unrelated scenes that crop up like painful warts. Kavita wants the poor (in a manner of speaking, not literally though) producer to make money too and so you have an "item" number and also a bar brawl. The much publicised casting coup (Ramya and Rakshita) is as effective as a soggy cracker. The divas cannot be displeased and so they get an equal number of romantic and emotional scenes. Not to be left out Sham, the hero gets a lengthy solo outburst. All this is at the cost of any plausibility in the proceedings. Ramya is wasted in a role that's regressive. The cinematographer, Mahendran is good till the landscape is verdant. His close-ups of both the heroines is unflattering. The only thing that stays with you is the sonorous strains from L. Subramaniam's violin. It's like a balm for bruised souls. It's tough to write something positive about Indrajit Lankesh, but you have to admit that unlike his sibling he's at least not pretentious. No expectations, no regrets.
In fact `c/o Footpath' is a surprise packet. A film should entertain or be able to inspire you. This film succeeds in doing both with ease. There's nothing childish here. The subject is mature for a mind so young and is handled with the confidence of a veteran. The endeavour is for the audience to empathise, not sympathise and the attitude is not condescending. It's the touching tale of an orphan rag picker who uses an insult as a trigger to reach academic heights overcoming obstacles that only the poor seem to face. There's not a dull moment and Kishan, the director has an excellent eye for details. Kishan is brilliant as the protagonist, oozing innocence and mischief. He behaves his age and doesn't speak a single corny line. This kid deserves all the publicity he's getting. I remember how our school took us as kids to watch films like Do Ankhen Barah Hath. Schools should make it a point to take their wards to watch c/o Footpath. It could change a few lives.
S. SHIVA KUMAR
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