Mookajjiya Kanasugalu movie review: A pleasant blast from the past
Based on the book of K. Shivaram Karanth, Mookajjiya Kanasugalu is an endearing conversational movie with some good performances
Mookajjiya Kanasugalu, directed by P Sheshadri, is a tribute to renowned author K. Shivaram Karanth. The film is based on a book he wrote in 1968, for which he was given the Jnanpith Award in 1977. Before getting into the details of the film, here’s an interesting anecdote on how the director went about making the film. Sheshadri had read the book when he was in high school after his teacher announced that those who read it would get an extra one mark.
After reading the book, Sheshadri also sent a postcard to Karanth, asking for clarification about a certain character. He was surprised to get an inland letter from the author, answering his questions. Sheshadri ended up getting 10 marks extra. The director, who couldn’t understand the subject in one reading, went through the book three times before going ahead with giving it a cinematic presentation.
Mookajjiya Kanasugalu commemorates the 50th year of the award-winning novel, and Sheshadri has faithfully adapted the book. The story is set in a coastal village. The conversational film is about an intriguing interaction between Mookajji (B Jayashree) and her grandson, Subbaraya (Aravind Kuplikar). She has answers to all the questions raised by Subbaraya. And the film cuts back and for the to the present and Mookaji's past.
She enlightens Subbaraya and others on topics of life, death, God, desires, and reincarnations. All this happens under a Peepal tree. Mookajji comes across as a grandmother with a power of deep perception. Seshadri has gone by the book, even in terms of the backdrop, the village set-up, the characters, and their costumes.
Whether it is about Ramanna and Nagi, or Mookajji meeting her friend, Thippi, or how she confronts Anant Rao about his relationship with his student, most of the episodes keep lingering in your mind for a long time. Sheshadri makes no mistakes in choosing the artistes, and couldn’t have found a better actor than Jayashree to play Mookajji. The rest of the cast, including Aravind Kuplikar, Nandini Vittal, Rameshwari Varma, Pragathi Prabhu, Prabhudeva, and Baby Shlagha Saligrama, showcase fine performances on screen.
With beautiful compositions by Pravin Godkhindi and great picturisation by cinematographer G S Bhaskar, watching Mookajjiya Kanasagalu is as good as reading Karanth’s book.