A.P. Arjun, maker of Ambari and Addhuri, has again proved his mettle by weaving a colourful fabric, despite the threat of story being quite thin, in his latest release Raate . But, considering the contribution of cinematographer Sathya Hegde, it looks like a film is being made to show his ‘mastery’ over camera.
The film mirrors the festering rot under the shimmering surface of the city, which has lost its soul and all embracing social fabric and provides a realistic look on urban rural divide by explaining how the kind of city take advantage of gullible rustic folks.
Though the film does not boast of a great story, Arjun makes this different through his narration. He plays around four characters and handles them with deft. This might be the reason for Arjun to depend more on cinematography, dialogues and music.
Raate works in three planes; rural landscape, Bengaluru and the forest range and revolves around Raja (a cable operator) and Rani (Shruti Hariharan), a small town girl, a hardcore fan of Darshan.
The film opens with a happy note, gains momentum with both reaching Bengaluru to watch a Darshan’s film and make purchases for their impending marriage. They get entrapped by a kidney racket being run by underworld.
Although the film has violent scenes, Arjun succeeds in representing them metaphorically, without glorifying.
It also focuses idolization of star culture. He subtly tries to communicate his mind through the frames of star and floating ticket on the flowing rain water at the scene of violence.
This tragic cupid tale provides a realistic take of ills afflicting our society today while being meaningful, message-oriented entertainer.
While Dhananjay excels in his performance, Shruti Hariharan with her charms entertains audience. Both the characters appeals through their native touch. They succeed in portraying themselves as small-town lovers. Bullet Prakash warrants a special mention in the scheme of things because of his brilliant performance and Suchendra Prasad captures attention of audience.
Audience can have a new face of city’s most populated areas such as City Market, Majestic and Shivaji Nagar. Natural beauty of Karnataka is shown at its best in the film. Through his magical frames, Sathya creates a visucccccal poetry.
However, instead of supplementing the story, cinematography dominated it. Melodious music of Hari Krishna supplements the script.