Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ba Baro Rasika (2004)

Ba Baro Rasika (2004)
Featuring: Ramya Krishna, Sunil, Ashita, Ramesh Bhat and others.
Directed by: Dayal

‘Ba Baro Rasika’ is a movie with varying mood patterns. One of the main reasons I watched it was for Ramya Krishna who was impressive in ‘Rakta Kaneeru’ and Sunil who has time and again promised he has potential. That said, let us look further now.

Vishwa (Sunil) is a graduating student who is known to be the ‘life of the campus’ and a good friend to his peers. He is a guy who has, despite being some sort of ‘girl magnet’, always kept them at a safe distance because he has not yet fallen in love. Ironically it seems that he throws away his heart to the first girl – Sona (Ashita)- who walks into his arms (as an accident mind you!) and declares ‘I love you!’ making his whole ‘integrity shtick’ seem like a farce. Just when you are feeling good about the male lead being a man who is a little realistic he goes ahead and becomes cliché. Sigh. Once we get past this puppy love we are introduced to his and her family members. Ramesh Bhat is thrown into this mix as Sona’s enthusiastic and ‘love-affairs-are-ok-as-long-as-they-are-headed-for-marriage’ kind of father for a good measure and completely wasted. Regardless the two are convinced they are in love (if only it was so simple) and decide that they will “love maaDu with duet songs”.

Let us now look at the woman who gives even girls the inferiority complex. Ramya (Ramya Krishna) is the chief auditor for a firm and is shown to be an ‘anti-men’ individual. With a troubled past which involved a murder or two, she has grown up hating men (all kinds). She ends up interviewing Vishwa who impresses her with his statistical knowledge of the firm. Her aloofness and cold attitude is actually impressive during her initial scenes.

On a trip to Mumbai the two unearth a scam worth 22 crore rupees. Conveniently a goon threatens Ramya one rainy night and soon she is seen begging Vishwa to stay with her in the room for the night since she is ‘scared’. During one of her scary moments Vishwa and she end up in bed together. Sparks fly and before you know it Vishwa is weeping like a baby. This IS the crucial moment in the movie but is not shot with the sensitivity and maturity that it deserved. Vishwa is confused and guilt-ridden so he confesses in the church the next day about the folly. He puts it behind him and gets engaged to Sona.

All is fine and dandy until we realize Ramya ‘Men Are Evil’ Krishna is not quite over her ‘experience’ with Vishwa. The woman in her has suddenly risen and so she starts harassing our man with weird phone calls and bizarre scenarios. Her attempts at making him ‘realize’ her beauty could have used more creative ideas. Vishwa, who was smart enough to figure out statistical data and ward off goons, is shown to be so naïve that he plays right into her hands. How these situations get untangled and who does he eventually end up with forms the rest of the story.

This was a great script but is completely mismanaged by a director who does not seem to know how to handle such situations. At the end of it all it becomes another ‘run of the mill’ story like the rest of them. I was, for once, impressed with the opening shades of the lead characters but they become hollow and without definition towards the end.

Sunil holds the fort completely with his histrionics in this feature. He definitely has the components of a good actor in him and I seriously hope the man continues to get challenging roles. Ramya is adequate in her role although her post intermission ‘obsessive lover’ was nowhere near realistic. She was not persuasive. She was not even demanding which would have made sense considering her overnight ‘change of gear’. The girl cast opposite Sunil is ok although her character could have used some confrontational scenes with Ramya. Being a woman, that perspective is left unexplored. Others are just ok with their pre-defined roles and limited screen time.

Technically the movie is well shot. Song sequences are refreshing and as always are dream sequences with nothing to do with the story. Cinematography is good and crisp editing only adds to the gloss factor.

‘Ba Baro Rasika’ starts off with a lot of promise but loses its way due to the lack of a strong screenplay and direction. The director had a gritty lead cast but does not use them to their maximum potential. I look forward to more such themes being explored with a touch of reality to them.

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