Kantara - Unique and Captivating

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Rating: 3.5/5

Cast Rishab Shetty, Kishore, Achyuth Kumar, Pramod Shetty, Sapthami                           Gowda

Directed by Rishab Shetty

Written by Rishab Shetty

Produced by Vijay Kiragandur

Cinematography Arvind S. Kashyap

Edited by K. M. Prakash, Pratheek Shetty

Music by B. Ajaneesh Loknath

Production company Hombale Films


An old legend binds the people of a forest village and it's landlord. They seem to live a peaceful coexistence until a forest officer comes to the village who seems to have no care or respect for the village or his customs, how a wayward youth called Siva and his friends react to the instances both manly and godly of the village forms the rest of the movie. 


The plot seems to be routine and formulaic but the movie is set in the lush forests and since the story runs from 18th century to early 1990s the director hook's you up into the world of Kantara from the very first scene, you land in the world of their people and he keeps you hooked till the last. 

Siva played by Rishabh Shetty who has also directed in this movie is supported by a host of actors who seem to have taken to this world like fish to the water, notable performances include the ever dependable Achyuth Kumar has the too suavy for the village Landlord, Kishore is brilliant in his performances where his eyes speak more than his words as the forest officer Mohan, Leela played by Saptami Gowda who plays Shiva's love interest gets a meatier role than a regular heroine. Pramod Shetty, Prakash Tuminad, Ranjan form the rest of the crew and like other Rishabh Shetty movies all have got the best roles of the lot, the movie runs at break neck speed and you don't seem bored at any point, for the non locals the double entendre may feel silly and that's the little qualm from the movie. 

The team of the movie should be lauded for mostly shooting the entire movie in live locations, there is very limited use of blue screen or vfx - the 30 second sequence of Kambara at the beginning of the movie, the raw and rustic fights and the sequence which runs in the last 30 minutes where the cinematography, music and the performances are in perfect sync is meant to be witnessed on the big screen. 

Big kudos to Arvind Kashyap who has captured the world of Kantara, Vikram for his realistic fights and Ajanesh for his haunting background score and OST which is perfectly combined with Pramod's lyrics. The movie feels so organic and smooth because of Pratheek Shetty's editing, it's very rare to find a movie so technically strong and the fact that the director also played the hero is just another proof for Rishabh Shetty's technical prowess. 

Last lines : Kantara is best experienced in the big screen, the movie has captured the culture, tradition and people of coastal Karnataka in a way not any other movie has. We get to stay and absorb their land and culture which culminates into a 30 minute Mad max meets Ammoru kind of climax where you will get goosebumps for sure by the time the end titles roll. 

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