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Times of India
Allama Prabhu comes to Kalyan, where Basavanna resides. It is here that we go on a journey to understand the mystic poet philosopher's life and journey till now. The film traces Allama's tryst with music, lust and more.
TS Nagabharana is one of the few filmmakers whose films breathe the culture, history and nativity of Karnataka. Allama, which traces the life of the 12th century icon, is his latest offering and this film comes with a lot of expectations. The film eventually does justice to the subject, but remains just that due to a few glitches that impair it from being that flawless epic.
The film begins on a jagged note, where one gets to meet an aged Allama in Kalyan. But it picks up momentum and keeps one engrossed after that, especially when we are introduced to tje flashback portions that trace Allama's journey right from his childhood. There are several interesting scenes that linger on, but the shoddy VFX towards the end play a wee bit of a spoiler to the film.
A big task for a film that traces the life and moments of a historical figure is that it toes the fine line that differentiates a documentary from a film. One must hand it to Nagabharana that he has kept the film in the commercial film territory and one is hooked to the screen at most times. Dialogues in a film like this too can be a tad too prosaic for a mind that is used to hardcore commercial films, but one must hand the actors a little leeway in this aspect as it takes some time to get used to it.
Dhananjaya had a daunting task when it came to playing this role, but he does deliver his best performance yet. One wished though that the makeup in his old avatar matched the grey wig better. Meghana Raj as Maaye is every bit the temptress she is meant to be. The rest of the ensemble play their parts, but at times sound unconvincing. One must hand it to Lakshmi Gopalaswamy though, who excels as Allama's mother.
This film is worth a watch for all those curious about Allama and his teachings. The subtitles are an added bonus too. Go ahead, watch this if you're in the mood for something more than just regular masala.