‘Gulama’ - great dialogues, but ordinary fare (Kannada Film Review)

January 3rd, 2009 - 5:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Film: “Gulama”; Director: Tushaar Ranganath; Cast: Prajwal Devaraj, Biyanka Desai, Sonu, Avinash, Rangayana Raghu and Sudha Belawadi; Music: Guru Kiran; Rating: ** “Gulama” is the directorial debut of young Tushar Ranganath, who has written the scripts and dialogues for many Kannada films earlier. Also, since it is this year’s first release, specially being a much publicised film by top producer Ramu, audiences had certain expectations from “Gulama”.

But the film has a weak narration. Ranganath has tried to portray the film as realistically as possible, but he hasn’t been able to make an impact as far as its emotional content is concerned.

Ranganath’s core strength always lay in writing dialogues. The dialogues in “Gulama” are crisp and hard hitting, but they lack freshness.

Most of the characters in “Gulama” look real. The typical representatives of the lower middle class households are seen in this film, which is essentially a triangular love story in the backdrop of Bangalore’s underworld.

On the positive side, the dialogues are natural and bring the different characters and their backgrounds alive on screen. Ranganath knows the diction and peculiarity of Bangalore-based gangsters and he uses this effectively in many sequences.

But he fails to do justice to the movie’s emotional content. Even the climax sequences, which are high on emotional quotient, fall flat because of an insipid narration.

The story revolves around Anil, who is the son of a police driver. His neighbour Divya loves him, but Anil is drawn towards the beautiful Priyanka, who wants to make it big in the glamour world. Anil does not reveal his feelings to Priyanka, but confides in Divya instead.

The plot takes a turn when Anil comes in contact with members of Mafi Gowda’s gang, which attacks his father. An enraged Anil decides to join hands with Gowda’s rivals to eliminate him. He then becomes a target not only for Gowda’s gang members, but also the police.

Despite being hunted by the police and gangsters, Anil does everything to please Priyanka and even arranges for money to finance her trip to Mumbai. Finally, Priyanka comes from Mumbai and plead with Anil to marry Divya, who loves him deeply.

It is a good role for Prajwal Devaraj, but he excels only in the fight and dance sequences. He is found wanting in the emotional scenes. The Mumbai-based model looks glamorous, but has few opportunities to show her acting skills. Sonu too has to pick up the threads of acting. Rangayana Raghu impresses in a brief yet different role.

Surprisingly, music director Guru Kiran’s tunes are just average. However, cameraman Vishnuvardhan deserves appreciation for his work.

“Gulama” ends up as an ordinary film despite its sparkling dialogues.

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