Maasthi Gudi: Escape into the wild
A great effort and a good message, but let down a bit by the narration which flags and loses momentum.
The story of Maasthi Gudi, conceived by Duniya Vijay, is about how saving tigers will eventually help us get water.
The daughter (Kriti Kharbanda) of a Range Forest Officer narrates her experience in a forest and her encounter with Maasti (Duniya Vijay) through a TV Channel. An orphan, who lands up in Maasti Gudi forest, he is raised by Madayya (Rangayana Raghu) and Bheemaji (B Jayashree). He grows up to be a mahout for an elephant Drona. But when Bheemajji, through her tantric vision, sees that the forest is headed for trouble, Maasti steps forward to save it. This is followed by a thin storyline of love, revenge and sacrifice.
Two men died while attempting to make Maasthi Gudi. Anil and Uday, who play villains attempted a misadventure to a give shot. What came of it? Does Maasthi Gudi do justice to their giving all for its making? The audience must decide.
Cast : Duniya Vijay, Amulya, Kriti Kharbanda, B Jayashree, Rangayana Raghu
Director : Nagashekar
The director Nagashekar, who has taken a step beyond his usual romance, has this time dealt with an action movie that also tackles global warming. With Maasthi Gudi, he elaborates on the importance of forests and saving animals from poachers, a subject rarely dealt with. But he seems to have tried to do way too many things by mixing action, love and family bonding with pantheism and ghosts. He ends up confusing the central theme of ‘Save Tiger’, Save Forest’. Therefore, the movie evokes a mixed response. The film with its great setting in the lap of Nature and with computer graphics looks good, but leaves a viewer feeling a little empty.
The makers, who could not portray better climax, are clearly ambitious because they have announced a sequel. No doubt that Nagashekar and his team have put in a great effort in sending out a message of the need to protect forests, but they could have worked on their narration which flags and loses momentum.
Vijay has come out of his comfort zone with him attempting a realistic performance and he has done it whole-heartedly. Amulya too has got into the character of the girl-next-door and Kriti Kharbanda does justice to the character she plays -- a Phd holder from London. Actors such as Rangayana Raghu, B Jayashree and Srinivas Murthy ably support the leads but the comedy track by Sadhu Kokila, Bullet Prakash and Tabla Nani is not so sensible.
The film’s technical team deserves an applause. Cinematographer Satya Heagde makes it a must-see with his striking visuals of the dry forest and the greenbelt. Music by Sadhu Kokila is another reason to watch it, there are soothing songs and a good background score. For all those living in the concrete world, Maasthi Gudi could be a good escape into the wild.