Mufti: Gritty, distinct and has the right cast
Narthan’s first action film is all sound and fury; a visual treat, with excellent chemistry between Sriimurali and Shivarajkumar
A change from the regular family dramas and romances that Kannada cinema has produced this year, Mufti depicts the harsh realities of life and cascades effortlessly into the mass-film category.
Narthan’s first action film is all sound and fury, and a visual treat. While Sriimurali carries his signature style, Shivarajkumar appears in a never-before-seen role. Mufti is distinct with exemplary work from the technicians including Ravi Basrur’s background score and Naveen Kumar’s cinematography.
Cast: Sriimurali, Shiva Rajkumar, Shanvi Shrivastava
With a neat screenplay, the film tells an interesting story of an undercover cop, Gana (Sriimurali), and a gangster, Bhairathi Ranagal (Shivarajkumar). The latter, a Robin Hood of sorts to the people of Ronapura, is a demon to lawmakers. Gana arrives alone to Ronapura, determined to clean up the place, and joins hands with Kashi (Vasishta Simha) to enter Bhairathi’s gang. After much effort, he finally gains entry into the gangster’s mansion and is left astonished by the leader’s popularity.
Instead of capturing Bhairathi, Gana saves the gangster’s life, especially from politician Raghuveer Bhat (Devaraj). What is Bairathi’s reaction when he learns about Gana’s real profession, will the cop go by the law and punish Bhairathi for his wrongdoings, or does he win over Bhairathi's heart, are the threads that come together in a sensible climax.
With good acting, this action drama has some striking moments, especially the exchange of dialogues between Shivarajkumar and Sriimurali, and between the latter and Vasishta Simha. Narthan, who has got his casting right, has managed to tell a gritty gangster tale with a solid story. He also convincingly captures the subplot -- the relationship between Bhairathi and his sister Vedhavati, played by Chaya.
The industry took notice of Sriimurali in Ugramm, which became his defining film. In Mufti, he lives his role with charm. He has few dialogues and manages to convey things using body language and his expressive face. Though Shivarajkumar only comes into the picture at the interval mark, he has given a praiseworthy performance. It's a significant role, and the Century star holds the audience’s attention. The two share an excellent chemistry.
While other characters such as Devaraj and Vasishta are portrayed with admirable restraint, Shanvi Srivasta as Sriimurali’s love interest and Chikkanna and Sadhu Kokila’s miss-and-blink comedy track add some lighter moments to this conspiracy drama.
Mufti will be another film in Sriimurali’s hit list, and Shivarajkumar’s role will stay in the minds of moviegoers.