Monday, December 15, 2008

Slum Baala - Film Review

Two stories based on favorite subject of Kannada producers, underworld! Almost the same team. But the second one fails to live up to the expectations. I am talking of Agni Shridhar's latest venture, Slum Baala. His earlier film Aa Dinagalu was a hit and was among the 10 best Indian movies in 2007 according The Week, well known English weekly. That was the precise reason why me and my friend, Raghav had no hesitation to go for the movie. But here, the film let us down with its weak plot. On the brighter aspects of the movie, Duniya Vijay, Umaashri, Shubha Poonja and Shashi Kumar, Achyuth Rao(more known for his role in hugely popular serial in E-tv Kannada, Moodala Mane) give commendable performances. M N Suresh, another TV artist, though does a good job, overacts in some scenes. Slum Baala film poster
Picture Source :
Quite many films have come on the subject of underworld with same old story of nexus of police and politicians taking the help of underworld dons to achieve their motives and in the end, eliminating them, when they get any slightest hint of dons rebelling. Well, story is familiar here too. Vinayaka Baala alias Slum Baala is a little known rowdy who gets deported to Mumbai for a year. Baala joins his friend Razaak there. He also gets to meet his love, Shubha Poonja. Circumstances force Shashi Kumar, a police officer, who had earlier deported Baala, to call him back to Bangalore. M N Suresh, playing a politician takes the help of Baala to eliminate his adversaries. In the end, Baala is about to rebel against Suresh, as Baala does not get the deals done as promised. But then Baala is killed in an encounter planned by Shashi Kumar, the police officer.

Camera work in the film is good and there is one scene which stands apart - the scene where Baala kisses the pistol and says bellagaagbekuntha naanu yaavaththu fair and lovely haakdavnalla; naanu kariya, neenu kariya, saath kodtheeya.(Loose translation in English may go like this - I had never used face creams to look fair; I am black and you (pistol) too are black, will you stand by me). First half of the film is entertaining but the second half is boring. Yes, boring as second half is all about showing two warring parties, Baala and his gang on one side and Suresh and his group on the other side, discussing strategies, how to eliminate one another in alternate scenes. Amidst all these, two melodious songs - Ale Aleyu Haadidavu, Manasu Rangaagide Indu steal the show. This is probably the only similarity with Aa DinagaLu, as songs - Aa Dingalu and Sihi Gaali won the audience's applauses, a year ago.

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