We had the misfortune of watching a Kannada movie last Sunday. I say misfortune not because the movie was in Kannada, rather it stems from the disappointment of looking at the kind of crap that is getting dished out in the name of ‘good’ Kannada movies these days. Yes I am talking of the much hyped, stylishly and lavishly publicized, and premiered at the Goa IFFI, ‘Tananam Tananam’, a grand offering by the young, dynamic, reputed female director Kavitha Lankesh.
The movie starts out with a promising theme revolving around the concept of music and with stalwarts like Girish Karnad (as the movie unfolded, I couldn’t help wondering what helplessness had forced him to be a part of it) and Bharathi, you anticipate something along the lines of a Sindhu-Bhairavi or Shankarabharanam… but sadly and slowly you realize you’re mistaken. Just getting two arch-rivals and all-the-time-at-loggerheads leading ladies in a single frame does not ensure a great scene or a good movie.
Rakshita cast as the glamorous danseuse and drama artiste is a total disaster and the less said about her costumes and dressing-sense that are supposed to complement her almost-obese personality, the better. And to do justice in the department of glamour, the other leading lady, the village-belle Ramya is made to wear the supposedly traditional but navel-showing long skirts and blouse combos! Garnishing this set-up is a lewd, inordinately uncalled-for item song, purely to pull in the front benchers (wow, that sounds like a line picked straight out of a professional cinema critic’s review!!)
Now that you’re wondering if there was anything at all that was remotely salvaging about this movie, yes there was, but few and far-far between. The temples and historical places where almost the entire film has been shot are beautiful… we could identify a few as the landmarks of Somnathpur, Hampi etc… they speak volumes about the rich splendor of our architectural treasures. Two of the songs – the title track “Tananam tananam” and the remixed version of one of the devotional songs “Kande kande Govindana…” are very catchy and hummable – kudos to the music director, Kalyan for this. The hero, Shyam of the Tamil movie 12B fame, looks good, but his acting is nothing to write home about. And yes, the collection of kurtas that he gets to wear – extremely elegant and classy. Finally, all said and done, Ramya, thanks to her quota of kilos being on the lower side and her mischievous smile and mrignayani-kinda-eyes scores easily over Rakshita, purely from a more-pleasing-to-the-eye point of view.
Well that’s about the 3-hour long torture called “tananam tananam” that we had to endure… the idea was to pack bags in the interval, but the fact that our car was parked bang in the middle of another 10-15 4-wheelers forbade us from encouraging this thought!