Soojidaara Review: A skilfully sewn together film with all the right elements
What stands out about this film from debutant director Mounesh Badiger, is the authenticity, right from the story to the characters to the shooting locales
Armed with a theatre background, Mounesh Badiger makes his onscreen directorial debut with Soojidaara. The filmmaker deserves credit for his earnest and innovative attempt to connect with the audience through this multi-layered film with a high emotional quotient.
Soojidaara is the story of Shabeer (Yashwanth Shetty), who is on the run and is forced to flee from his hometown of Mangaluru. Despite being innocent, he is chased by the police. Shabeer becomes Shankar and takes refugee at Chitradurga, where he rents a house and finds work at a photocopying shop. Here, he meets Padma, who is being harassed by her husband (Suchendra Prasad).
Director: Mounesh Badiger
Cast: Hariprriya, Yashwanth Shetty, Chaithra Kotoor, Shreya Anchan
In the process of getting to know each other, Shankar realises Padma is actually Sakshi, whom he is acquainted with through an incident that took place in his hometown in the past. Will the two realise each other's identity? Will Shabeer alias Shankar prove his innocence? In parallel to this, is a story of Raji (Chaithra Kotoor), a flower seller whose dream is to become a serial artiste. Will she able to fulfil her aspirations? In the backdrop, the director has also interspersed his story with bits from the Ramayana. These appear on and off, and have a strong relevance to the various characters as well as their struggles and sacrifices.
Armed with a strong subject, the first-time director threads the entire plot at his own pace, which does test the audience's patience at times. However, the story's authenticity, and that of the characters and the shooting locales, compensates for the pace of the film. All of these make it as close to reality as possible.
Connecting all the dots in the film is Hariprriya, who showcases her acting abilities admirably. As too does Yashwanth. Both of them are clearly director’s actors, and this serves the film well. Also deserving of a special mention is the supporting cast, that includes Chaithra Kotoor, Achyuth Kumar, Suchendra Prasad, Shreya Anchan, and Harish Rudrayya. All of these actors have given their best performances. Also ably aiding the film, and making it work as a complete package, are composers Bhinna Shadja and Pradeep Varma, and cinematographer Ashok V Raman.
Threads from the lives of various people are skilfully sewn together by the director to make the 131-minute-long Soojidaara, an intricately-made tapestry of a film.