Interest is increasing in Sandalwood films ever since the sensation of the KGF franchise. KGF makers' latest outing Kantara got sensational reviews in Kannada. The film directed by Rishab Shetty is releasing on October 15, 2022, in Telugu. Top stars like Prabhas and Dhanush heaped praises on the film. Kantara will be releasing on OTT Amazon Prime after it finishes its theatrical run. Let us find out whether Kantara excited movie lovers or not.
Kantara story is all about tribals, their beliefs in the forest, and how they try to protect them at any cost. Shiva (Rishab Shetty) much to the angst of his mother Kamala (Manasi Sudhir) doesn't practice their ritual and it is left to his cousin Guruva (Swaraj Shetty) to practice it. Trouble brews when Muralidhar (Kishore)Deputy Range Forest Officer (D.R.F.O) decides to follow the rules and bring the entire forest including the hamlet of the tribals under Government control. Where this leads to, what are the beliefs of the tribals, the connection to Leela (Saptami Gowda), Devendra Suttooru(Achyut Kumar), Sudhakara (Pramod Shetty), and others should be found out on the screen.
Kantara story penned by Rishab Shetty is about the beliefs of the tribals, their practices and the conflict between the honest forest officers and greedy influential people who try to take them for a ride. Rishab Shetty did not deviate from the subject at any time and he started the narration in an exciting and interesting manner and quickly paced the proceedings in a racy manner with his screenplay. The first half is blended with fun, romance, action, and suspense elements. The interval bang excites all setting the stage for the second half.
The pace in the second half dips with the romantic scenes and a few other scenes but the pace reaches new heights during the pre-climax and climax. The climax and the performance of Rishab Shetty blow the minds of all. Rishab Shetty emerged successful in coming up with an interesting story connected to the beliefs and practices and narrated it in a perfect manner.
Rishab Shetty turned out to be the soul of the film. He performed well as a careless son who doesn't bother about the rituals and showed variations as the trusted person of the village's influential person and as an innocent lover and then takes his performance to another level during the pre-climax and climax. Rishab Shetty showed his acting prowess in romantic scenes, action sequences, emotional scenes, and also in hilarious scenes.
Sapthami Gowda performed well in the role of a village tribal girl who works hard to get a government job and then goes into a dilemma about whether to support her own villagers or the forest department. Kishore in the role of a forest officer who is honest, and performed with intensity. Others like Achuth Kumar, Pramod Shetty, and Vinay Biddappa did full justice to their roles.
Songs tuned by Ajaneesh are situational and emotional. He scored thumping background music making a terrific impact on viewers and taking the narration and the scenes to another level. Arvind S. Kashyap's cinematography showed the village and tribal atmosphere and the forest scenes in a natural, realistic, and appealing manner. The editing of K. M. Prakash and Pratheek Shetty is ok but could have been better as they left a few drags which slowed the pace of the film.
Altogether, Rishab Shetty came up with an interesting story highlighting the beliefs of Karnataka and the border districts of Kerala people. His screenplay and direction elevated the story to new heights. He got the optimum out of all the cast and crew and he played the lead role to perfection. He singlehandedly carried the film on his shoulders coming up with a riveting and impactful performance. Altogether Kantara offers high-octane action sequences and intense emotional scenes with thrilling elements to movie lovers. Considering all these elements, Cinejosh goes with a 3 rating for Kantara.