5:43 PM, Thursday, December 21st, 2017

anjaniputra Raja is a money lender, who is staying away from his family due to unforeseen circumstances. When his path crosses with Bhairava, a mafia kingpin involved in contract killing, he has more than one score to settle. How does their fight end?

This action drama by A Harsha is the official remake of the 2014 Tamil film Poojai. While the original opened to mixed reviews critically, it ended up being one of the more commercially successful films that year. This Kannada remake has retained the sentiments of the original, but has been reduced by over 20 minutes in length compared to the original and has director Harsha’s signature touch. While it has a mix of mass appeal and family sentiments, the screenplay seems too rushed and leaves one leaving the hall not too convinced in the end.

This film is a mass entertainer at heart, what with over two dozen dialogues praising the hero through the course of the film. There is the mandatory opening fight and introduction song and then a family sentiment track too that follows in tow. The film has three tracks, one is the life of Raja and his lady love Geetha. Then there is the story of a cop Sathya Raju. And finally there is the story of Raja’s estranged mother, a matriarch. The baddie Bhairava is the common thread that links all of them.

anjaniputra-2What works for Anjaniputhraa is that there is ample action, romance, comedy and melodrama. There is the hero, his near perfect heroine, the goofball friends and a family too that loves him to death. What seems inadequate is the villain, who is introduced in a great way as the film begins, but never matches to the strength and valour of the hero. One is reminded how good commercial drama requires a menacing villain to take on the hero, but this falls short somehow through the course of this film.

Puneeth Rajkumar is his earnest best, dancing, singing, fighting and romancing just like the fans want him too. Rashmika Mandanna is cute as the leading lady and shows that she has comic timing that can be tapped into. While Ramya Krishnan has been cast in a powerful matriarch’s role, it doesn’t seem as powerful in the crucial scenes. Chikkanna and Giri need a special mention as their comedy tracks are a highlight in this film.

Anjaniputhraa may not be one of the most compelling commercial films of the year, but it does have its moments that are more than worth it for die-hard Appu fanatics to make a beeline at the cinema halls.

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