A Dalit youngster wants to bring about social reform in his hamlet. Meanwhile, there's the landlord of the village who partakes in being an active member of the sand mafia by the river bank. And then there's a young couple seeking refuge here, where the woman catches the fancy of the village Casanova.
Maarikondavaru brings to screen a compilation of three short stories of writer Devanur Mahadeva, which has been woven as one tale. Given that Mahadeva is one of the most powerful Dalit voices from Kannada literature, it is always nice to see literary works being adapted to the big screen. This film follows the old school thinkerati way of storytelling.
The film sees a delayed release, much later after its State Award win. Though, it is heartening to see such literary adaptations get screens in the multiplexes. The film may not be the jazzy gen-now caper that gets people in, but it tries to talk about politics - of class, caste, gender and more - which is something that isn't often seen. This falls in that older category of films that channelize debates.
Of the three tales being told in the film, Maarikondavaru, which sees Sardar Sathya, Samyukta Hornad and Dilip Raj, sees some impeccable acting. One has seen Dilip in roles before, where he has owned the screen space, this film adds to the repertoire. Samyukta, as the confused nomadic housewife, shows a good range of emotions. Sulile Kumar, who plays a screen adaptation of Mahadeva himself, makes a good debut in Kannada, while Sonu has a pivotal role to play in his tale.
There are hardly any films that are inspired from literary works in Kannada, an industry that was once the flagbearer of the parallel film movement. While this might not be the most edgy tale with screenplay that keeps you hooked every moment, if you want to see more literary adaptations, maybe you should try watching this film.