Sunday, April 27, 2008

Is 'BIRSE' Smart Enough?

BIRSE in Tulu means smart/intelligent. 'Birse' got released in Mangalore on 11th April, 2008. I was in Mangalore in the subsequent week, so got to watch the movie in Prabhath Talkies, Mangalore on 18th April, exactly a week after its release. Here is brief review of the movie.

Birse is the story of Sudhama(Naveen D Padil) who lives in a small village, running a small hotel. He is a man who helps the people of the village in many ways. Predictably, his hotel runs on credit rather than cash. Sequence of events lead him to marrying a widow. One of his friends, Sundara is in love with Suguna. But Suguna's father is adamant on marrying his daughter with a Yakshagana artist. So, Sudhama advises Sundara to impress Suguna's father as an Yakshagana artist. Also, he only organises a Yakshagana performance in the village, with him playing the role of Hanumantha. During the performance, Sudhama's house catches fire. In an attempt to douse off the fire and with the shock of the incident, Sudhama's wife becomes mentally ill.
Birse Tulu Film PosterTo treat his wife Sudhama heads to Bangalore(why not Mangalore?). With the help of his friend he gets a job in a restaurant. He thinks of treating his wife with the money earned. Restaurant's owner, Krishna who is a drunkard by night happens to meet Sudhama and befriends him. Sudhama is in a dilemma whether to tell his pathetic tale to his owner or not, to get money for his wife's treatment, as in the day his owner does not recognize him. Krishna's wife comes to know about this and insults Sudhama. And when Krishna's daughter is kidnapped blame comes on Sudhama. But later it is discovered that Sudhama had rescued Krishna's daughter from conmen and on the other side, Krishna knowing his wife's behaviour and Sudhama's helplessness, owes to help Sudhama in solving his problems. And from there on, they live happily!

Naveen D Padil, a Tulu drama veteran shines as Sudhama. Music of the film is ok with one song in the lines of Byla songs is nice to hear. Sahanshri, Bank Janardhan fit to their roles neatly. Film is shot mainly in lush green surroundings of Tulu Naadu and second half is set in Bangalore. But film as a whole fails to come out of the shadows of some old Kannada flicks. And some of the dialogues seem direct translation of Kannada versions. Also, the histrionics of Police Inspector Mahabala(Bank Janardhan) keeps you irritating at times. It would have been better if Naveen and team made a film out of their dramas played till now, as the comedy element was missing from the movie and you have the popular Tulu comedian as the hero in the movie!


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