Majestic Retelling of Local History - The New Indian Express

Majestic Retelling of Local History

Published: 11th January 2014 10:08 AM

Last Updated: 11th January 2014 01:04 PM

Film: Maha Sharana Haralayya

Director: BA Purushotham

Cast: Ramesh Aravind, Sridhar  

For a film that deals with Sharana Haralayya and Sri Basavanna, two hours can seem a stretch.

Director B A Purushotham has followed the historical events closely and taken a few creative liberties with the subject that is based on founders of the Vachana Sahitya in the 12th century.

The film revolves around social reformer Sri Basavanna (Ramesh Aravind) and Sharana Haralayya (Sridhar) who is an ‘untouchable’ and a cobbler. Sharana wish of meeting Basavanna is fulfilled when the reformer who is a minister in the court of King Bijjala visits the untouchable community. Basavanna invites Sharana to settle in Kalyana town.

In one instance, during another of Basavanna’s visit to the untouchable community, Sharana greets him politely with a formal gesture ‘Sharanu’. In reply, Basvanna says, ‘Sharanu Sharanarthi’. The shoemaker is dumbstruck with  Basavanna’s acknowledgment of him twice.

Sharana feels he has committed a sin and tells his wife about the incident who comes up with the idea making a special gesture towards the reformer. The husband and wife decide to part some skin off their thighs and convert it into a beautiful pair of shoes. Basavanna, instead of wearing the shoes, keeps it on his head and tells Sharana that the shoes are meant for Lord Shiva.

Sharana on his way back home meets a brahmin minister under King Bijjala who snatch the shoes away from him. The moment the minister puts the shoes on, he is afflicted by a severe disease of which he is cured after he takes bath with water fetched from shoemaker’s tank. The minister becomes a Sharana devotee and offers his daughter in marriage to Sharana’s son that leads to political upheaval.

Though a predictable story, the director satisfactorily brings majesty to every frame in the film. Ramesh Aravind as Basavanna does well. Sridhar fulfills the asking of his character. Being a period film, there are one too many songs, all composed by Jimmy Raj.

The Verdict: Despite some plodding on, the film showers respect for its subject. Can be watched to brush up your history.

 

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