Birbal Review: A meticulously-planned film that falls short due to its slow execution
The actor-director's skilful handling of the film right from the scripting to the execution is to be applauded
Taking a cue from the famous adviser to the Mughal emperor Akbar, who was known for his wit, director MG Srinivas’ Birbal is an effort to give the audience a thought-provoking film. The film scores with an edgy narration, with the end result being a product with ample depth. Srinivas also plays the lead, lawyer Mahesh Das, who is out to solve a case in the first part of the trilogy.
Director: MG Srinivas
Cast: MG Srinivas, Rukmini Vasanth
Known as Birbal among friends, he is fond of handling tough cases. The story revolves around one such case in which an innocent youth, Vishnu (Vineeth) is framed for the murder of a cab driver, who is also a police informer. Mahesh wants to prove the innocence of Vishnu, who has served eight years in prison. He joins a law firm run by Diwakar Hegde (Suresh Heblikar) and re-opens the case. In the process of investigation, he comes across many hurdles, including his best friend and lover, Janavi (Rukmini Vasanth) trying to stop him from investigating the case. The film then narrates why Mahesh re-opens the case, and throws light on 'Vajramuni’, a mysterious character.
Srinivas’ skilful handling of the film right from the scripting to the execution is to be applauded. Different perspectives of lawyers, police personnel, and criminals are offered to the audience. Saurabh-Vaibhav’s tunes match the film’s tempo and are a highlight of Birbal.
However, the film doesn’t come without its flaws. The lack of emotions in Birbal is disappointing. The overlong runtime is another issue. Srinivas should have been smarter on the editing desk and cut short the film by at least 15 to 20 minutes.
Srinivas juggles between his directorial responsibilities and acting, and does a good job with both. While he still needs to work on conveying his emotions better, he brings in the humour element with his witty dialogues, and handles the role with ease. Rukmini Vasanth gets good screen space in her debut and acquits herself well. DJ Vineeth has a role that's almost parallel to the lead role, and does a decent job. Even the performances of the supporting cast, including police officer Raghavan (Madhusudhan), Sheela (Kavitha Gowda), a colleague of Vishnu, small-time thief Suri (Sandeep Jain) and passerby Amogha Varsha (Amogha Varsha), are worth a mention. Though Ravi Bhat, as a cab driver, has only a blink-and-miss role, he is the soul of the film.
Birbal is an intelligent piece of work by Srinivas, and he has put the right foot forward with this film.