Raju Kannada Medium movie cast: Sudeep, Gurunandan, Avantika Shetty
Raju Kannada Medium movie director: Naresh Kumar
Raju Kannada Medium movie rating: 2.5 stars
Director Naresh Kumar’s latest directorial outing Raju Kannada Medium aspires to be a slice-of-life movie. It has set a goal for itself, which is to convincingly explain the audience the true value of a human’s life. Naresh, who is also the writer of this film, opens the movie with Raju (Gurunandan) staring at the end of his life. He is all set to jump into a waterbody. From there the film goes into flashback mode to trace events in Raju’s life that prompted him to choose death over life.
A young Raju gets a metal container that holds a scroll from his mellow father. Raju’s dad tells him to keep it with him safely and not to open until his 16th birthday. When Raju meets the age limit set by his father, he opens scroll only to find a fill in the blank question: Which is the most important thing for you in life?
As he grows older his priorities, goals and preferences also change. A girl he met in the school was the only thing he ever wanted in his life. But, when she moves away, tending to the needs of his family members becomes important for him. And then being with his friends and finding a paying job so on and so forth.
His quest to find the permanent answer to his father’s question takes him to Bengaluru, where his ambitions and the view of life grows bigger and wider. The film later turns into a bit of small-town boy’s journey in the big city. The hurdles he faces mainly due to his poor English speaking skills draws some genuine laughs while watching the film. But, when we reflect on it, the director-writer’s efforts to tickle funny bones seem very generic.
What’s a better way to learn the importance of life and relationships than one being stranded on a deserted island? With a little more effort, Naresh possibly could have developed a gripping sub-plot that could have been the highlight of the film.
The main drawback of Raju Kannada Medium is Naresh’s unwillingness to let the characters shape themselves. He has mapped out everything for the characters in his movie and makes them do what he would want them to do. The film would have been far better had he just followed the story where it took him.
Naresh has also added separate comedy tracks just out of compulsion. In the meantime, the film also has many pluses and one of them is cinematography by Shekar Chandra. He has beautifully explored scenic hill stations that makes the picture viewing a soothing experience for the audience. And composer Kiran Ravindranath’s melodies compliments Shekar’s work, especially in the portions shot at hill stations and the island.
The star cast is also a big plus. Kiccha Sudeep as Deepak Chakravarthy, the richest businessman in India convincingly fulfills the only purpose why the director brought him on the team. He gives the much-needed star attraction to the film, which mainly has up-and-coming actors. Gurunandan and Avantika Shetty try their best to bring freshness into the story.
Naresh’s Raju Kannada Medium also has some smartly written dialogues. One can’t help but giggle at Chikkanna’s short monologue where he explains a few salient features of life in Bengaluru city. The film could have been much better if only Naresh had the will to swim against the tide.