‘Bheema Theeradhalli’ - far from true biopic (Kannada Movie Review)

April 7th, 2012 - 8:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Mel Gibson Film: “Bheema Theeradhalli”; Cast: Vijay, Praneetha, Prajwal Poovaiah, Sharath Lohithashwa, Suchayeendra Prasad, Sreenivasa Murthy, Uncle Lokanath; Screenplay-Direction: Om Prakash Rao; Producer-Cameraman: Anaji Nagaraj; Dialogues: M.S. Ramesh; Music: Abhiman Roy; Rating: **

“Bheema Theeradhalli” is supposed to be a biopic film made on the life and times of a dreaded gangster Chandappa Harijana, also known as Chandya.

Chandya, as described in police records, was a person who terrorised the police and his opponents between 1990 and 2000 till he was gunned down by police.

But what you see on screen is an account eulogising the feared gangster, who specialised in strangulating travellers and looting their ornaments and money.

Chandya may have been a victim of the system prevailing in some areas bordering the state of Maharashtra. The social inequity, caste prejudices coupled with neglect of the defenceless poorer sections of society had bred many gangsters in the area, including Chandappa Harijana.

But alas, such observations have not been made in the film.

Rather than presenting a biopic of the dreaded gangster, what’s shown in the film is the larger-than-life portrayal of the protagonist, who is killed in a staged shootout by the police.

The film’s director Om Prakash Rao shows his lack of awareness about the socio-economic problems faced in the region where the protagonist Chandappa Harijana operated.

Surely, he has not done any research pertaining to the violent activities in the region.

Rao has his own way of telling the story which reminds you of Mel Gibson-directed “Apocalypto”, released in the year 2006, as well as of K.V. Raju-directed Kannada film “Huliya”.

The film goes on like this - Chandya is a wronged person, whose sister is raped by a policeman and whose family members and friends are tormented by the cruel Lokappa Desai’s family.

To settle scores with Lokappa, Chandya decides to support Shashikanth in a local election. Shashikanth, who promises to help the poor, becomes corrupt, which enrages Chandya. Meanwhile, city-bred Bheemavva, sister of Shashikanth, falls for Chandya.

Chandya targets both Shashikanth and Lokappa Desai’s family members. However, Desai gets closer to Shashikanth to eliminate his family’s tormentor Chandya. Chandya kills Lokappa Desai, his son and also Shashikanth. But he gets tagged as a dacoit and a gangster by the police. A new superintendent of police posted to the area kills Chandya in a staged shootout on the orders of his superiors.

The action and sentimental sequences are shown at regular intervals in the film.

The film is ultra-serious in its depiction and there is no space for any relief during the run. This is one factor that makes the film a tedious watch.

Despite very good performances from Duniya Vijay and veteran actress Umashri, who plays the mother’s role, “Bheema Theeradhalli” will have a limited appeal mainly because it has glorified violence.

Vijay is good in action and emotional sequences of the film, but Umashri delivers a livewire, strong performance.

Vijay has worked hard to portray his character, but he is clearly handicapped by the lack of a credible script. Praneetha acts well and shows her glamorous side too.

Anaji Nagaraj’s camera work is a major highlight of the film, while M.S. Ramesh’s dialogues carry lot of punch. Abhiman Roy’s background score is above average.

Viewers will see many gory sequences and blood sprinkling all over in many sequences, with most artists shouting at each other during the course of the film.

“Bheema Theeradhalli” fails as a biopic, but with its commercial elements, it may attract the masses.

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