Radhakrishna, known as Ricky, has a fairytale life, following his passion as a wildlife conservationist and engaged to his childhood love Radha. When his love and beliefs are challenged by naxals, can he still walk victorious?
That Karnataka has naxals fighting for their rights is known, but hardly any films tackle this. Rishab Shetty, hailing from Mangaluru, is familiar with the ethos and the problems, which helps his debut directorial effort emerge a winner. This is a love story in its essence, which is set against the backdrop of naxals and SEZ encroachments.
Radha and Ricky, childhood lovers, have everything going right for them. Their families approve of their relationship and even get them engaged. A project in Kashmir ensures Ricky has to leave Radha behind, promising the families that they would get married when he returns. But, Radha's family suffers when they lose their land to authorities in the name of SEZ projects, giving her no choice but to join the naxals in fighting for their rights. Rechristened Seetha, she's as hard as a rock, fighting her emotions. Can Ricky woo her back?
The film could have well become a sermon siding either one of the two groups fighting in the backdrop, but the script stays neutral, concentrating on the love story. This is probably the biggest thing that goes in favour of the film. While the viewer in a multiplex in Bengaluru is introduced to the the kinds of problems the naxals and the policemen face, they're still eventually rooting for Radha and Ricky to unite.
What adds to the narrative is Sudeep's voiceover, powerful like his baritone. The characters, be it of Ricky and Radha, or the many supporting members, are all well-etched. The only lag, if one could point out, would be the comedy track featuring Sadhu Kokila, which seems unnecessary. Barring this, the screenplay is taut and quite fresh for the Sandalwood viewers.
In a time when most films try to win the audience's hearts through bombastic dialogues and unnecessary buildups, this film has the hero playing something as obscure as a wildlife conservationist and is often not the most powerful one in the frame. It takes guts to accept a role like what Rakshit Shetty has done in this film, given that both Hariprriya and Pramod Shetty have the more obviously powerful roles. But, his gamble has paid off, for women would walk out wanting a man as loving as Ricky and the men too cheer for him with equal elan. Hariprriya, no doubt, has one of the most powerful characters she has played as yet in her career and impresses as both Seetha and Radha on screen. The chemistry that the lead pair shares is a big bonus.
Apart from the acting, the film also scores highly on the technical front. Be it cinematography, dialogues, background score, music or wonderfully choreographed songs, there are enough factors that work in its favour. If you like your dose of romance on screen, here you have a love story that has a mix of both candyfloss and rawness. For the discerning viewer who wants something novel, there's an interesting perspective on the naxal movement in the state. Go ahead, watch the film if you're keen on entertainment that isn't mundane.