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Times of India
Four aspirants, an actor, a director, a music composer and a cinematographer, live together, harbouring dreams of striking gold in Gandhinagar. They battle fate and egos and finally land their first break. Does it go as planned?
Gaurish Akki, who has been a journalist who has seen Sandalwood from close quarters, makes his debut as a director with this film. The story is filled with his observations in the industry and also has a message from him to aspirants.
The film that begins with some spoofing and caricatures of the film industry, turns later into a saga of dreams, shortcuts and perils faced by people who choose to fight their way into this dazzling world. While Gaurish must be applauded for a good story, the translation on screen falls short from the ideal representation on many counts. Firstly, the film ends up touching too many topics, many of which are forgotten midway and the multiple twists and turns with the many characters ensures the film lasts much longer than it should have.
The most important scene, which is of a fight between the lead actor and the villain - an underworld kingpin who aspires to be a producer, is not dealt with the intensity that it requires. This scene is pivotal to the script, but it seems rather lacklustre.
The heroine's character too is used as a mere prop for glamour, rather than adding a layer about the women in the industry, reinforcing the stereotypes and the maker has tried to talk about and highlight.
While these are the shortcomings, the film picks up pace towards the interval and ends up giving the viewers a story that keeps them watching.
While the climax seems to stretch, the message that Gaurish has chosen to tell Sandalwood aspirants is commendable. The cinematography lags in certain scenes and the editing could have been far more to tell this tale. But, if you're one of those who likes Kannada films and wants to watch a different perspective of the industry and its ways, then this is for you. Be prepared with lots of popcorn, for the film is quite long.