Arthouse films must be appreciated than measured against box-office gains. So is the case with Kalavu (theft), a film by M Ravi. The director in his debut feature has chosen a complex script which captures various types of thefts that occur in life and those that eventually cause setbacks and disappointments.
Aptly titled, Kalavu underlines the patriarchal bent of society. Set in a village, it begins with a courageous Rangamma (Umashree) who though married continues to take responsibility of her mother, her sister and her son along with her own. Fighting to make ends meet, the family is further shattered when their buffalo disappears overnight. When all ways of finding it fail, they call upon the village tantrik to find out who has stolen the buffalo. Shockingly, all fingers point to Patla (Avinash), a career thief. The panchayat then calls for a meeting to find out who the culprit is. Will Rangamma get back her buffalo and will justice be done in a world dominated by men is what Kalavu answers.
Ravi highlights the loss of relationships, faith, money, land and values, that happen every other day and the repercussions of these losses. There are also series of incidents that force the audience to question society today. Like instances where the director reveals that Rangamma’s husband is impotent but still raises a mystery about who the father of Rangamma’s son is. There’s the unexplained incident of the landlord’s daughter being cheated by her man who runs away with the jewels.
It’s a flawless performance by Umashree. Her body language especially when aggressive is noteworthy. She is been well-supported by Karisubbu, Jugari Avinash, Pramila Bengre and Hulagappa Kattimani. An upcoming music director, S Chinna has provided good music with M D Pallavi, Sriram, Muni Reddy and Runa Rizvi lending their voices. Well known drummer Shivamani has added his rhythm to Kalavu.
K Y Narayanaswamy adds life to his story, dialogues and screenplay with cinematographer Rakesh B capturing it well.
The Verdict: Kalavu is for those who enjoy themes that run deep.
Cast: Umashree,Jugari Avinash
Director: M Ravi