Saturday, May 13, 2006


Featuring: Shankar Nag, Bhavya, Vajramuni, Devraj, Sudhir and Ambarish.
Directed by: P Nanjundappa

SP Sangliyana is a character inspired from the real life super cop with the same name. A man with high principles and honor for the law enforcement department of the country. The movie is a fictional depiction of the man, his encounters with law and the people who break them.

Sangliyana (Shankar Nag) initially poses as Rowdy Raju and enters the city. No one suspects a thing about this seemingly small time crook including the police department there and the big time power lords Nagappa (Vajramuni) and his errant son Devraj. While they make merry with the strings on their fingers which includes everything from corruption to prostitution, players of the same fiber join this bandwagon in all sizes and shapes. The only people who seem to be concerned at all about this mess of an infrastructure is newspaper editor Mahesh (Lohitashwa) and his daughter Kanchana (Bhavya). Minister Nagappa and his son indulge in all kinds of criminal activities making a mockery of the law which includes even bludgeoning a forest officer to death in broad daylight. With the middle men in the Police department, the father-son duo make merry with the very familiar air of arrogance and foolhardiness associated with such fictional features. The forest officer’s wife and son (Tara and Manjunath respectively) end up living with Rowdy Raju through an array of convenient coincidences.

One fine day the much acclaimed Sangliyana makes his appearance in the form of ‘Rebel Star’ Ambarish. He starts his first day with a nice ‘dishum-dishum’ of overpricing auto rickshaw drivers and is soon seen getting this mess in order. Constant confrontations between the ‘bad guys’ and the ‘good guys’ keep taking place with a few blood streaks and hollow threats.

Near to the intermission part the cover is blown and we finally see the real SP Sangliyana as Shankar Nag who would have, true to his unorthodox ways of handling crime, made a rather premature visit to the city’s crime scene. As we are relieved that Shankar Nag is finally out of the rather amusing looking hairdo and sunglasess as Rowdy Raju, we also have to contend with a couple of random songs which have nothing to do with the story’s progress. Of course, this is where you can stretch your legs and maybe take a coffee break.

One thing leads to another and Sangliyana successfully starts fixing all the loopholes created by Nagappa and Co. A traditional commercial potboiler style showdown ensues bringing criminals to justice and upholding the goodness of the law.

Sangliyana was one of Shankar Nag’s laudable features as the upright police officer. The movie brought back fond memories of lazy Saturday afternoons spent on the couch with the family watching these entertainers back in Bangalore. Shankar does complete justice to his role and is flawless as a performer. No amount of regret will ever be able to fill the void this brilliant man left in our land. Bhavya does her stereotypical actress bit efficiently too although she is loud and tends to get on the nerves at times. The performers from the ‘Bad Guys Camp’ – the late Vajramuni, the late Sudhir and Devraj are tailor made for their roles. It was a pleasant experience watching the legend Vajramuni perform with the ease of an experienced artiste. ‘Rebel Star’ Ambarish puts on a valiant performance as well in his guest appearance. One can tell that the emotion is heartfelt when he embraces Shankar which is a representation of the off screen friendships these people shared.

Music is definitely one of the high points of the movie. Made as a slick and crisp cop adventure the movie boasts of some good songs including the popular ‘Bandalo Bandalo Kanchana…”. Editing is well done and keeps the narration interesting and entertaining.

Overall, Sangliyana is a complete family entertainer with all the elements in the right doses. If you look past a couple of needless songs Sangliyana is a pleasant piece from memory we all can proudly acknowledge.

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