Mathad Mathadu Mallige
Nagathihalli Chandrashekar(NHC)'s latest movie Mathad Mathadu Mallige has been in the news since its launch firstly due to the starcast and then then due to the issues addressed in the movie. And truly all the hype involved with the movie - the cast and the issues dont dissappint you. NHC after addressing issues like Indians settling in America (America America) and then with a different kind of love story between a husband and wife (Amrutha Dhare), here he touches upon globalisation and environmental issues which are the present day concerns of the world today. And he with his vast knowledge about the issues has done good justice to the movie. He has rightly expressed his view about globalisation and its impact on Indian villages and that too with a commercial touch.
The story is set in a small village wherein Hoovaiah (Dr. Vishnuvardhan) is a floriculturist living respectfully with his family consisting of his wife (Suhasini Manirathnam) and three daughters. The villagers are lured by a US multinational company to sell off their lands and vacate the village since it wants to start diamond mining there. Politicians are lured with money and the MNC gets the license to start mining in the village. But Hoovaiah is not interested to sell his land which he has loved so dearly as his family. He with some of the villagers protest against this and decide to confront the government and the "local" politicians (Rangayana Raghu, C R Simha etc.,) The rest of the story is a saga of his emotional relationship with the soil, his family and the villagers and how he with his ideals of Gandhism and faith in the present system succeeds in getting the license stayed.
The story looks simple and might also sound like a good material for a masala movie. But NHC has dealt the subject with much care and hasnt meddled with the actual story line by adding unnecessary commercial stuff. Two songs seemed out of scope of the narration and I felt he could have done without those but that would have removed the little commercial touch. But what scores here is NHC as a story teller who has succeeded in making a movie on a subject like this and yet not boring the audience. He has extracted the best out of every actor who plays even the smallest character in the movie.
Coming to the details of the movie, NHC seem to have poured out his anguish about the present politics and politicians throughout the movie with the dialouges. References like a sleepy person who can become the prime minister or politicians making remarks like despite sleeping and eating in houses of farmers we didnt get the votes etc., surely draws parallels with the present day politics. The relationship of Hoovaiah with his wife and the three daughters are sketched out clearly without dragging much. He brings about memories of Bandhana in which Vishnuvardhan and Suhasini had acted almost 2 decades ago in a song Banna Bannada Hoove. Hoovaiah and his wife love their first two daughters very much as compared to the third one who isnt much learned and works in the flower gardens. Dialogues wherein Hoovaiah tells his third daughter if she was well educated and had studied well she could have been saved by humiliation touch a lot. Also the third daughter's love for her parents has been picturized well.
She also proves that just being educated like her sisters doesnt mean everything but education with a purpose and other knowledge also is important. Hoovaiah's wife always complains of his generousness towards villagers and still loves him for what he is. Thus NHC weaves the complete family story as subplots. The scenes wherein the first two daughters elope with their lovers disappointing their parents and Hoovaiah approving their marriage desparately are very touching. The scene wherein the third daughter succumbs to extremist thoughts and the events which force her to make her realize that she is wrong are presented well.
The main plot of the movie - Hoovaiah's cruasde against globalization and environmental issues has been dealt very well. NHC's personal experience in such movements and his contacts with the leaders in such issues has added to the authenticity in his narration. First scene where Hoovaiah decides to go against the government order infront of the DC where he is all alone and helpless but later joined by his villagers is captivating. Secondly the scene where a TV reporter comes to his house claiming he has given him coverage and publicity and Hoovaiah pouring out his anger is good. Next scene is where Hoovaiah's wife asks him to attend the high level meeting with the MNC officials quoting his love for his village and villagers. The scene of Hooviah's confrontation with the MNC officials and politicians where he presents facts and figures about people affected by so called "globalization" is the best one in the movie. Hoovaiah's interaction with the extremist leader (Sudeep) and their conversation is a treat to watch. NHC thus completes linking the whole circle of politics, politicians, local greedy villagers, extremist ideologies and extremist leaders with the lone crusader against these through non-violence. Sudeep's introduction as an extremist leader brings about the present day issue of Naxalites who claim to fight the system through violence. Clash of ideologies - Gandhism and non-violence against extremism is clearly brought about and nothing is shown to be great or less. Hoovaiah wishes Sudeep good luck in his crusade and Sudeep watches Hoovaiah succeed in his crusade through his Gandhian idealogies. Some people might have the view that at the end Hoovaiah's act doesnt convince Sudeep to give up violence. But NHC has struck to his narration though he hasnt openly supported extremist activities. No need for that I believe since people with both kind of thoughts co-exist here in today's world. Such a normal end where the extremist gives up his thoughts would have been anticipated by the masses I believe. Introduction of Sudeep as an extremist leader at a point where Hoovaiah loses his wife might bring some thoughts of Hoovaiah too turning towards that.... but thanks to NHC for not having made it that way... It would have been too commercial I feel.
Coming to the performances, Dr. Vishnuvardhan has given a very good and controlled performance. He is so different as compared to the innumerable remake roles he had done previously. He again proves his acting prowess with his dialogue delivery and expressions. Suhasini Maniratnam is a treat to watch. Everytime she appears on the screen she gives a soothing appeal. What an actress!! Wish we could see more of her.... Great to watch Vishnuvardhan and Suhasini on-screen. Rangayana Raghu impresses as the local leader who lures farmers to sell their land to the MNCs. Sudeep has given a very good performance with his bit role and he impresses with his dialogues. Other veterans like Tara, Doddanna, Sihikahi Candru, Mandya Ramesh are good in their roles. NHC himself as Hoovaiah's friend and lawyer is just there!!! :-D
Music by ManoMurthy is good. Banna Bannada, Nammane Aramane and Jhana Jhana are well picturized. Technically its a good movie with good camerawork by Krishna Kumar. Good editing by Basavaraj Urs has helped to keep up the pace of the movie.( Though the Baaro Nanna Shahrukh song was quite unnecesary ). NHC could have brought out the eloping of the two daughters with their lovers in a better way. It looked somewhat too silly and dramatic. The costume designers for Dr. Vishnu could have worked better to make his turbans look more authentic for the location and the plot.
Overall it is a good attempt by NHC something different from his previous movie. Thanks NHC sir for giving us a thought provoking and socially relevent movie!!! And all the best!!!