A movie which has been on an unexpected rise since its release in both its Kannada and Hindi versions, Kantara by Rishab Shetty has crossed even films like RRR and K.G.F chapter 2 to become one of the highest-rated Imdb films ever.
So, at the onset today, I want to share with you 5 reasons why the movie Kantara is a big hit with viewers, I feel:
- Deeply rooted in our cultural milieu.
- A brilliant blend of action, dance as well as tradition.
- Caste politics.
- A strong mythical element.
- A flawless blend, a true confluence of the past and present.
Yes, I saw the movie Kantara, I went through the emotionally thrilling rigmarole, a movie which touches upon the cast politics in Karnataka. This one which has been in the headlines ever since its release has a rustic touch to it which dates back to Indian roots.
So, while I caught up on the movie amidst much speculation, it somehow seemed clear to me from the start on the day I was going for it that I surely was going to be catching up on something special. Well, not sounding biased or anything its just that I have seldom seen word of mouth do such wonders and in Kantara’s case, it was one of the strongest since surely there are no language barriers for movies with great content and Kantara has proved this brilliantly.
Being the weekend, I surrendered to the melee of the usual, preparing to let myself loose over catching up at the weekend with my sister over this one and some great spent quality time. Little did we both realize that the movie would be so enigmatic, and overpowering that we were soon going to be caught up in an adrenaline rush of an aphrodisiac of sorts (says anyone who has heard and seen the song ‘Varaha Roopam’ on the big screen!) where all we would be reduced to would be a pile of distorted bean bags, caught up in awe, intimidated to the point of getting goosebumps in the last 30 minutes of the movie, going back home in a fierce pride of having witnessed the cultural roots of our Indian ancient heritage, celebrating it all the while coyly.
THE MYSTICAL PLOT
This enigmatic venture here which literally translates to “mythical forest” is a beautiful mesh of folklore and fantasy having been inspired from true life incidents. Shiva, a Kambala champion is at loggerheads with an upright forest officer, while the film plays out over 3 different timelines. Revolving around a universal theme of man v/s nature conflict, this one is a face-off between the villager Shiva and the forest officer in tandem with illegal hunting.
THE ENIGMATIC IDEA
The film shows Bhoota kola, a highly stylized dance held in the honor of the local deities worshipped by the Tulu population. In this one, Daiva (an animist form of spirit worship practised in coastal districts as well as parts of Kerala and Karnataka) forms the bridge between man and nature and the story has been built around this one.
Well, as Rishab Shetty has himself put “The more rooted a story, the more universal it can become”. Surely, the going back to the roots factor has worked magic as the end result is something cinema rarely gets to witness I feel. The very existence of the film stands in line with a magical weave unifying nature, divine along with humanity. Yes, Kantara is a confluence, the likes of which have never been experienced before. Whilst folklore traditional practices as well as regional beliefs and following took the center stage in this one it was Rishab’s performance as a man possessed by the demi-Gods Panjurli and Guliga which for me, were the cherry on the cake.
Yes, I believe in the ideology portrayed in this one. Indeed, land has a certain energy. The good and the bad co-exist and so do nature and humanity alongside the grey which we address as the demi-Gods.
The best part I felt was the fact that here cinema has been used to portray something that will compel you to go back and think, delving into your traditional roots, challenging and questioning practices but at the same time, it has been done in a way where I as an audience was given the higher ground, being updated on art and otherwise and yet been given a choice to immerse myself headlong into this intense folklore.
A SPECIAL MENTION
I cannot sum this one up before acknowledging how I was taken in by the Bhoota Kola performance. I must say Rishab must have surely witnessed it first-hand and also personally gone and witnessed it or must have had an expert on the subject guiding him, to be able to deliver such a performance. Man! That scream, left me tingling in the skin underneath. I surrendered to the deity myself and how!
IN THE END
So, before I close this one today, I have to tell you guys whilst folklore, tradition, culture, mythic form the base of this one, another strong facet I liked in this one was the depiction of class politics. Oh yes, the conflict between the haves and have-nots and how the upper-class landlord takes the land of the tribals and deprives them of their rights was another strong standpoint of this stellar cinematic venture.
Related: 5 Reasons Why the Hindi Movie Vikram Vedha Failed to Live Up to Expectations
Yes, Kantara has been spellbinding, enigmatic, overwhelming, awe-inspiring, intimidating and equal parts amazing and flamboyant. A rich cinematic experience, ostentatious sequences, a thrilling storyline, breathtaking cinematography, an incredible background score and surreal performances made up for one of the best movie experiences I have ever witnessed.
Set in the fictional village of Dakshina Kannada, Kantara is a visual grandeur that brings alive the traditional culture of Kambla and Bhootha Kola. It is believed that Demigods are the guardians and their energies encircle the village. In the story, there is a ripple when a battle of ego swirls along the tradition and culture of the land. The soul of the story is on human and nature conflict in which Shiva is the rebellion and works against nature. There are intense conflicts he indulges in. In the end, a much-awaiting loop leads to war between the villagers and the evil forces. Will Shiva, the protagonist of the film be able to reinstate peace and harmony in the village perceiving his existence?
Do go and catch this one on the silver screen, you guys. And stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul for the best in the field of entertainment, lifestyle, fun, fashion, finance, travel, tech and gadgets, fashion as well as all things bookish. Till then, go watch Kantara you peeps!
This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla.
I must be honest that I’m not into this kind of genre of movie though I know a lot of people are. The story isn’t just my type and doesn’t interest me. The story is great though. Great article!
Wow looks like an intriguing read! I love that such books are still being written despite the shift in today’s choices. Visual grandeur…that’s what sets my imagination on fire!
I heard about this movie from my brother on last Saturday. By reading your review it seems must watch movie. Yes, I like to watch traditional, ritual based movie and special if it is from south side then must must must! So thia weekend the movie date is fixed with my hubby. Thank you for the review. First time I will watch a movie after reading a review.
I love to watch traditional, culture-based movies, and if it is made in the south, then must watch them. Thanks for sharing about this.
I have been reading a lot about this movie but haven’t watched it yet. You are absolutely right, when it is a great movie, language is not really a barrier. We need more movies like this.
I have been wanting to watch Kantra but time hi nhi mil rha. I am so interested in it. I get glimpses of this movie of fb and ig reels. I really wish it comes on any OTT.
Although I am not much into extravagant movies that portray surreal sequences etc, I really wanted to watch Kantara cuz something about it intrugued me. I don’t regret my decision cuz the filmy stuff aside(n i found it a little too draggy towards the end), it touched my core in some way. There is something really captivating about it, maybe the folklore, the dance, the scream or just the vanishing act in the end… I had a hangover of sorts.
Brilliant review Neelam… as always!
Politics or Political related movies is something I am not fond of but the way you appreciated the movie I feel like watching it once.
The reasons stated in your review are strong enough to make one watch this film without fail. Will surely catch up.
What a 5**** star review of a great movie. I want to watch it in the theater but I don’t have company. I guess will have to watch it on OTT platform only.
I am with you Harjeet, would have to wait and watch it online. Love the review.
It was just yesterday that I was asking my brother0-in-law the review for this movie and he shared exactly the same points. Its a must watch with some fabulous performances.
I have beard so much about this movie. I did not get the chance to watch it in the theatre but definitely watching it on ott. Your review has made me even more curious about the whole concept.
This movie has become so popular amongst cine lovers. I now understand the reason. I will surely watch it now.
Though I wanted to watch it after the first week itself, i did so only a couple of days back. It lived up to its rave reviews. Though there is the usual romance and fight masala, i think they have woven the supernatural elements very well in the story and made it believable. Of course there is definitely magic as you still have the hangover of the movie… especially the song Varaha Roopam
I wanted a review on this, my hubby has been on heels to watch this movie. Thanks
I am with you Harjeet, would have to wait and watch it online. Love the review Neelam!
I’ve heard so much raving about this movie, I’m now living in the FOMO of not watching it
Has it come in Hindi? I so wanted to watch this as I have heard a lot of good things about the movie and do know the background of this movie. Now your wonderful review is compelling me to watch this soon.
Beautifully said. I have seen it. Its a great movie
An interesting read!