Film: Godfather (Kannada)
Director: Sethu Sriram
Cast: Upendra (in three roles), Soundarya, Catherine Theresa, Bhumika Chawla, Sudha Belawadi, Ramakrishna, Swetha, Rekha Das
We all know that Godfather is a re-make of the Tamil film Varalaaru (2006), yet, it may not be an exaggeration to say that Upendra has once again proved his mettle as the ‘Real Star’ in Sandalwood with this film.
The USP of Upendra’s characters in this film is accepting to play a rather tough role — as one of the three roles has quite the feminine instinct — and believe us, he does a great job and walks away with all honours. Not many artistes in Sandalwood would have the courage to play such a role fearing a backlash from their hard-core fans.
The story of Godfather is simple and here’s a brief outline of what you can expect to see. Shivasagar alias Shivu (Upendra), confined to a wheelchair, wants his wayward son Vijay (Upendra) to focus on their business empire. Shivasagar asks Vijay to visit Bhamapura village, a village that he had adopted years ago. Vijay happens to meet Divya (Soundarya), a college student, and her friends in the village and he mistakes Divya and her friends to be sex workers, but later realizes his mistake and decides to marry her.
Meanwhile, a ‘Vijay’ creates a ruckus at Divya’s house and her parents decide against her marriage with him. Later, the family however realises that it was Ajay (Upendra) who had acted like Vijay to take revenge on Shivasagar. Ajay is of the opinion that Shivasagar was the main reason for his mother’s problems. At this juncture, the second plot comes into the picture and the director narrates the tale of Shivasagar, a Bharatanatyam dancer, who was all set to marry Sujatha (Catherine Teresa) till she, perturbed by his walking style and thus suggestively his impotence, walks out of a marriage hall and how that leads to Shivasagar’s mother’s death and how he eventually thus decides to rape Sujatha to prove that he’s not impotent. Phew!
Once that tale has been told, you come back to a climax that keeps you wondering whether Ajay succeeds in his mission or not and what will become of Shivasagar?
While the story is far from real, the dramatic theme allows for great performances and Soundaraya excels. She has proven her mettle in the dance and romance sequences but has to improve a little bit when it comes to emotional sequences. Catherine Teresa has done a commendable job. She has performed well in the classical dance sequences and has given quite the competition to Upendra in that particular scene.
It was heart-warming to see Rekha Das again on the silver screen again as she plays the role of a teacher who comes to a village with the bunch of girl students for project work. Her conversation with a group of wayward boys is a laugh riot. Not to forget the amazing music by AR Rahman and the general mood of the movie. This is one of those films that can be watched by anyone — be it mass or class.