Koormavatara – Movie Review

Doordarshan has started showcasing films that have won accolades in international film festivals under the program, ‘Best of Indian Cinema‘. Girish Kasaravalli’s ‘Koormavatara’ (Kannada) was shown on the 24th of November 2013 at 11pm (IST).

Poster of 'Koormavatara'

Poster of ‘Koormavatara’

Girish Kasaravalli’s name cannot be missed if one discusses the parallel cinema movement in Kannada. His films have always maintained standards and the critics and followers alike mention them with respect. ‘Koormavatara’ is definitely another feather in his cap. A state government employee, on the verge of his retirement, is offered a chance to play ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ for a TV series, because he looks like Gandhi. The widower is reluctant initially, but accepts later due to the greed of his son’s family. The man has no other interests, apart from office work and his grandson. With no real in-depth knowledge of the ‘Mahatma’, he fumbles to bring out the emotions and reactions that the director of the TV series expects and is asked by his son to read about Gandhi to get an insight into the latter’s life. There is a slow transformation in the old man, and he becomes more than just an actor portraying Gandhi. The transformation also clearly shows the world, which terms the principles of the Mahatma as irrelevant. His son, similar to one the heirs of the Mahatma, has conflicts with him and eventually distances himself and goes into a path of self-ruin. His world disintegrates and he is left with his grandson’s pet tortoise.

Dr. Shikaripura Krishnamurthy, who essays the lead role, is apt and splendid. The others too have pitched in with the right emotions for their parts. The music is minimal and does not come across as an aberration (though for some reason I found the BGM to be similar to a song from Aashiqui 2). But the real show stealer is the director, Girish Kasaravalli. This serious film also has a subtle humor. The film could have been trimmed a little, but considering the serious subject matter and the target audience the pace of the film can be overlooked. People showering praises on ‘Lucia’, seem to have not noticed this gem of a film. I urge all those who claim that Kannada cinema does not produce quality works to watch ‘Koormavatara’.

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~ by Jayanthan Ravi on December 6, 2013.

One Response to “Koormavatara – Movie Review”

  1. Basic thought of the novel writer and the director are simply superb. All the team members have done an excellent job, I feel they must have also undergone the Gandhi effect. Thank you for a wonderful movie, I/we understand the need of the hour.

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