Captivating Divine Mass!
U/A 2h 30m
What Is the Film About?
Set in the Tulu Nadu region of Karnataka and Kerala border, Kantara is the story of tribal people who worship a deity, the reason for their happiness. A century and a half ago, a king could not find peace despite all the wealth and huge kingdoms. When he chances upon the deity’s stone, he finally gets it. The King agreed to give his land to the natives to retain the peace.
However, the King’s forthcoming generations don’t honour the words and try to take away the land by law or force. The former leads to a mysterious death. The latter is Kantara’s story, where the tribal guy Shiva (Rishab Shetty) deals with the problem.
Rishab Shetty fits the part of Shiva well, using his physicality well. The role offers him various emotions that complete a mass hero outing, and there’s more. It is that ‘special’ something towards the end which elevates the whole act.
Rishab Shetty does all the action and comedy effectively. He brings a larger-than-life appeal to the role while simultaneously keeping it raw and real. This rare quality, along with the end, makes Shiva special.
Sapthami Gowda is alright as the female. It is a mix of typical heroine moments and a little supporting actor stuff. She is, however, relegated to the background after a point in the second half. A couple of scenes requiring her to act emotionally are well done.
Rishab Shetty is not just the lead but also the director of the movie. Kantara is an action drama with a devotional touch. The tribal background and authentic ritual presentation are where it brings newness.
We see many times filmmakers tell the audience not to miss the beginning. There can be no better film than Kantara to emphasise it more. The opening is not to be missed.
Post the opening, when the narrative starts its present storyline (it is set in the nineties), there is an instant change in tone. The background (forest and period) helps things stay closer than be far removed from the thrilling beginning. We are instantly transported into a mass movie world.
The entire proceedings (until the climax) follow a typical mass commercial formula. The characters are neatly established, and the space is well-developed. Basically, Kantara scores even as a pukka commercial fare.
Some comedy and hero-heroine romance bits are overdone. But it stays true to the world it inhabits, and that’s a job correctly done, even though it might offend a few.
The pace never slackens, and one thing or another keeps happening. What also amazes one is the scale the team has managed to bring together on a moderate budget. Kantara impresses like a big-budget movie with its action, artwork and other technical departments.
The intermission intrigues a little bit but is soon taken away as the narrative resumes again. The second half isn’t as smooth as the first half, though, for the same reason. Some big build-up moments end softly. Still, the proceedings never lose momentum or are derailed anywhere, though.
There are a couple of twists thrown along the way. They are fine, but one can’t help but feel they could be done more effectively. It would have been more thrilling.
Well, if there are any more issues, be it length, lag or predictable moments, everything gets brushed under the carpet with an extraordinary ending. It is sensational and elevates the whole thing to the next level.
Overall, Kantara is a big-screen outing with a great beginning and end. The climax is a knockout. The middle, too, is an excellent mass outing with a forest backdrop. It makes for a must-watch outing at the cinemas.
Performances by Others Actors
The supporting cast is neatly picked for the movie. Those who have seen the previous flicks of Rishab Shetty might recognise a few faces. What works for them is the well-defined roles, even if the part is small like all the hero’s gang. Achyuth Kumar and Kishore obviously stand out with their trademark acts. The actor playing Shiva’s father and performing Bhoota Kola at the start was terrific.
Music and Other Departments?
B Ajaneesh Loknath provides the music. The songs are alright, barring the devotional number, which is fantastic. The background score is brilliant, evoking mass yet staying true to the tribal setting sounds.
Aravind S Kashyap’s cinematography is clean. It helps in giving a big screen appeal to the proceedings. Arvand S Kashyap’s editing is good. Despite so much happening and many characters, there is never any abruptness or confusion. The writing is adequate.
Some Romantic, Comedy Bits
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Kantara Telugu Movie Review by Mirchi9