In terms of business, Kannada film industry is weaker when compared to remaining South Indian film industries. People often criticize that it’s a stagnant industry and that’s why other langauge films make profit in Karnataka more than native films. I’ve been with the same opinion since a long time and I haven’t watched Kannada movies much. My first film was “Charminar” (remade as “Krishnamma Kalipindi Iddarinee” in Telugu). I’ve been listening about a movie named “Mythri” which was critically acclaimed as well as a blockbuster in the industry. So, I took time to watch it and destroyed my negative opinion towards Kannada Cinema.
Mythri was a bilingual movie made in Kannada and Malayalam languages simultaneously starring Kannada Powerstar “Puneeth Rajkumar” and Complete Actor “Mohanlal” in major roles whereas “Master Aditya” played the lead role and “Atul Kulakarni” got a vital role. It was directed by “B.M.Giriraj” while music maestro “Ilaiyaraja” scored the music.
It’s the story of a 12 year old Siddarama (Aditya), a juvenile prisoner yet intelligent and an ardent fan of Puneeth Rajkumar (Puneeth Rajkumar). He wants to meet Puneeth by getting selected for “Karunada Kotyadipathi” (Kannada version of KBC) hosted by Puneeth. The rest story is about whether Siddarama wins the contest and what’s there for DRDO scientist Mahadev (Mohanlal) related to the boy’s life. Mythri mainly portrays human trafficking and juvenile prisoners’ lives.
The film opens up showing a mischievous Siddarama locked up in a police station. His mother seeks the help of a local goon cum politician, Gooli Prathap (Ravi Kale). After freeing Siddarama, Prathap lets his mother work in his factory to repay him. Later Puneeth Rajkumar is introduced in a Kannada flavoured “shooting” scene. So, a non-Kannada audience should bear this native stuff for sometime.
Screenplay turns sensible when Siddarama was shown in a juvenile prison where Ravi Prakash (Atul Kulakarni) is the jailer. Here lies a portrayal of various kinds of juvenile prisoners and how Ravi treats them, which could’ve been executed in a better way. A conversation between Puneeth and Ravi about juvenile criminals and their future is thoughtful and portrays the society’s reality. Puneeth’s question to Ravi, “Does harsh treatment bring a change in criminals?” makes not just Ravi but audience give a thought about it. I felt this is the best written scene of the film.
The sequence where a criminal helps Siddarama participate in the contest was very sensible and that’s where I got connected to the movie completely. Once Siddarma gets selected for the contest, most of the narration runs on the contest. Meanwhile maestro Ilaiyaraja keeps touching the audience’s hearts with his signature tunes. I liked the songs “Geluvu Onde Lekka” and “Aakasha Meluntu” in this sequence very much.
Introduction of Mahadev continues the sub plot (human trafficking by Gooli Prathap) which was discussed at the beginning and kept aside. The song “Chandranenu Chanda” sung by Kailash Kher and shot on Mahadev and his family came out well which proved that Mohanlal is a “Complete Actor” once again. It’s a simple visualization yet I liked Mohanlal’s subtle performance in it.
The film ends as expected but I felt Puneeth’s role should’ve got more significance and I expected a more emotional scene when he calls Mahadev as a lifeline to Siddarama. Had this scene been more emotional and delivered the plot’s intention in more stronger words, this would’ve been more touching. But this was compensated with the song “Idu Yaava Lokavo” during the end credits sung by Ilaiyaraja himself.
So, “Mythri” is an adorable movie and increased respect towards Kannada Cinema in me. I recommend this film to all who like sensible films.
Coming to performances, Puneeth Rajkumar got a chance to play his real life character which is rare for an actor of his stature. He came up with a subtle performance which is highly appreciable. Mohanlal’s introduction changed the screenplay’s pace and he was subtle too. Atul Kulakarni got a respectable role as a jailer who tries to reform the criminals in his own way. A special mention for Siddarama who got a lead role besides two stars Mohanlal and Puneeth. Ravi Kale was as usual as a goon. Archana is fine as Mohanlal’s wife while Bhavana did a cameo as a Puneeth’s heroine.
- Maestro Ilaiyaraja’s Music. His contribution was more in making this film a heart touching one, by providing his own style of soothing tunes.
- A. V. Krishna Kumar Kiran’s Cinematography. All the visuals were rich and clear.
- Giriraj’s direction. This deserves a special mention as the narration and direction are very sensible. Though this film has a star like Puneeth, Giriraj didn’t go for commercial elements like useless item numbers. Everything is within the story’s boundaries. This happens rarely in present day’s South Indian films.
- Performances of Puneeth, Mohanlal and Aditya.
- Less emotional climax.
- There should’ve been more portrayal of juvenile prisoners’ mentality and their lives.
– Yashwanth Aluru