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Head Bush Movie Review: Intense throwback to the brutal Bengaluru of the 70s- Cinema express

Head Bush Movie Review: Intense throwback to the brutal Bengaluru of the 70s

Shoonya puts up a daring narration while observing caution, especially with the dialogues and violence in the big-budget film

Published: 22nd October 2022

There are certain journeys where people find themselves in pursuit of some dishonest and unsettling goals. Head Bush tells the tale of one such man. The life of Bengaluru's first underworld don MP Jayaraj has been redefined time and again in Kannada cinema history. The latest iteration is director Shoonya's Head Bush, which is based on the book — Dadagiriya Dinagalu by Agni Sreedhar, which was translated to English as My Days in the Underworld – Rise of Bangalore Mafia. The book gives a first-hand account of the mafia world and the experiences encountered by him, and the film adapts these incidents with cinematic liberties, of course.

Director: Shoonya

Cast: Dhananjay, Yogesh, Balu Nagendra, Payal Rajput, Sruthi Hariharan

Over the last two decades, we have seen a lot of films based on the underworld like Om, Kariya, Jogi, Aa Dinagalu and Edgegarike. They are still talked about, and Head Bush is the latest film to try joining
this elite list.

Head Bush is a gangster drama, which is told through Ravichandran's character, who plays a professor. The film will be out in two parts, and the first part follows the life of MP Jayaraj (Dhananjay), tracing his life from his teenage days. Surrounded by his friends, Ganga (Yogi) and Samson (Balu Nagendra), Jayaraj eventually becomes a ganglord, who is also portrayed as a Robin Hood to the people. The film takes a political turn when the mobster gang joins hands with MDN (Raghu Mukherjee) who was instrumental in forming the Indira Brigade during the tenure of Devaraj Urs (Devaraj) as Chief Minister, under the guidance of then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi (Avantika). The rest of the film follows the themes of friends turning foes, a dash of romance, a game-changing character, and the presence of a stern police officer.

Shoonya puts up a daring narration while observing caution, especially with the dialogues and violence in the big-budget film. Many characters in the film come with the names of real-life people, and Head Bush tries to stay true to the incidents of that period.

The action thriller is bloody, raw, and rustic, and it definitely engages the audience. Since the film is coming out in two parts, the makers have taken the liberty to properly pace their world building. Shoonya takes time to introduce the many characters, and that includes prominent personalities based on political honchos like R Gundu Rao, and FM Khan among others. The film also explains that the city, which we thought was built and developed by politicians, officials, and the common people, also included the underworld. We see the rise of the don MP Jayaraj in this instalment, and his fall leads to the sequel. Another highlight of Head Bush is the way the Karga culture is brought into the picture.

Head Bush boasts of a big ensemble, and each character in the film comes with shades of grey. Right from the way he looks and behaves, Dhananjay delivers an incredible performance as Jayaraj. The rest of the actors too get their required space. Yogesh and Balu Nagendra as Jayaraj's good friends nail their respective roles. Payal Rajput is charming in her Kannada debut, and Sruthi Hariharan as Rathna Prabha (Devaraj Urs' daughter) definitely needs a special mention. Vasishta Simha as Kothwal Ramachandra gets a meaty role but gets limited screen space in part 1. Poorchandra Mysuru and Roshan Bachchan also make their presence felt. Prakash Belawadi, as a police officer, and Devaraj as Chief Minister have lived up to their respective characters.

The beauty of Head Bush lies in its action sequences, while music by Charan Raj is apt for a gangster movie. Sunoj Velayudhan’s cinematography blends with the story and Badal Nanjundaswamy's artwork gives an up-close view of Bengaluru of the ‘70s period.

Overall, Head Bush highlights crime, friendship, and family, and makes for a perfect outing for lovers of gangster films.

head bush
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