Kavaludaari movie cast: Anant Nag, Rishi, Achyuta Kumar, Suman Ranganathan
Kavaludaari movie director: Hemanth M Rao
Kavaludaari movie rating: 3 stars
Every work of art invariably reflects the society of its time. The country’s volatile political situation, rapidly increasing frustration against a system that is clogged by a corrupt power structure, politicization of every institution, hopelessness, indifference to other’s suffering, decaying of civility, innocence and depleting morality have directly or indirectly crept into the themes of many films that have come out of late. Director-writer Hemanth M Rao’s Kavaludaari (Crossroad) is also not immune to the effects of the confusing times that we live in.
Inspector Rishi (Shyam) is tasked with a most challenging job: managing the never-ending traffic woes of Bengaluru city. He does his job faithfully at the traffic control department. However, his heart lies in the crime-fighting unit of the police force. At a very vulnerable juncture in his life, he stumbles on a case that takes him down a rabbit hole of mystery, deceit and a series of inner conflicts.
During a road widening project, the construction workers unearth skeletons. Rishi takes an interest in the case as nobody else would. He begins an independent investigation, in spite of the orders from his superiors to drop the case. He feels a strong connection to a bunch of skeletons that were buried even before he was born. And there’s a mystical reason behind it.
Hemanth uses expressionism techniques to take us through the inner struggles of Rishi, who is consumed by his obsession to get to the logical conclusion of the mystery case. Rishi is not the only one to have had this obsession. Anant Nag’s Muttanna has been there and is still playing the price for his obsession with the case. Muttanna was the first investigative officer in the murder case that unfolded on the heels of emergency.
Every character in the film is haunted by the ghosts of the past. While some succumb to it like Muttanna and Kumar (Achyuth Kumar), some manage to learn lessons from it and move ahead. Expressionism helps Hemanth to spin an engrossing mystery thriller that encompasses various aspects of life.
In the process of storytelling, Hemanth also blends a few little-known historical facts that changed the political course of modern India. In other words, the emergency. More than once, Muttanna points out how criminals began to gain prominence in the political front due to emergency. And then, the director also enjoys sharing little trivia like why the colour of the cop uniform was changed from white to khaki. It becomes an apt metaphor for the director to convey the importance of personal integrity in a morally bankrupt world.
Hemanth is a promising avant-garde filmmaker, whose best is yet to come.