ACT 1978 Movie Review: An effective thriller with a social message
Not a fast-paced thriller, ACT-1978 depends more on the performances delivered by the actors
While ACT- 1978 is not an everyday story, it still manages to highlight a common man’s plight through the story of the protagonist Geetha. The ordeals she faces at the hands of government officials will seem all too familiar for a large section of the watching public.
The film is directed by Mansore, who previously helmed Harivu and Nathicharami. The plot, in the beginning, mirrors a hostage thriller and gives us a glimpse into a very familiar system. Geetha (Yajna Shetty), a pregnant widow, enters a government office with an old man Sharanappa (Suresha B), and locks up the officials. She threatens them with a pistol and a bomb, tied to her waist.
Producer: Devaraj R
Cast: Yajna Shetty, B Suresha, Pramod Shetty, Sanchari Vijay
What does Geetha want? Just the release of an amount already sanctioned by the government, but kept on the backburner by local officials. Tired of being asked for bribes, Geetha takes the violent route to get her due. The movie plays out like a game of chess with a masterful stroke at the end by the director which will leave you shocked. The inner politics in the functioning of a government department, which does both good and bad, is laid bare for the viewers to see.
Not a fast-paced thriller, ACT-1978 depends more on the performances delivered by the actors. The casting is great and Yajna Shetty seems to be the perfect choice for the protagonist’s role. Suresha B and Pramod Shetty support her well as do the rest of the cast.
ACT-1978 is a writer’s film, and this is yet another extraordinary contribution by Mansore to the Kannada film industry. He is well-aided in this endeavour by writers TK Dayanand and Veeru Mallanna, who have written gripping dialogues. Having personally endured such ordeals, Mansore effectively brings about the problems faced by such bureaucratic red-tapism. The movie mocks the government, reminding it in a not-so-kind way about its duties. It brings out the pain that government acts create for those governed by them and it also manages to faithfully portray the media’s role in such issues.
The film excels technically as well. Colour grading gets a lot of importance, with Satya Hegde, the DOP, doing a good job. Makeup and sound are given thought too. Though there is only one theme song in the film, the immersive background music is by Ronada Bakkesh and Rahul Shivkumar is a strength.
One of the first films to release post lockdown, ACT 1978 is definitely worth a watch and is a thriller with the potential to create awareness, both in citizens and government officials.