Movie: Vaastu Prakara
Director: Yogaraj Bhat
Cast: Rakshit Shetty,
Jaggesh, Aishani Shetty, Parul Yadav, Anant Nag, Sudha Rani, T N Seetharam
Something to believe in or not to — that is what Vaastu is. And something to watch or not to watch — that is Vaastu Prakara. There may be many other dilemmas facing eminent directors like Yogaraj Bhat who want to say something important while wanting to take the audience along.
When a Bhatru film hits the theatres, expectations are already at its peak. And if even an ounce of the expectations are not met, the audience gets disappointed. And that is when directors like Bhatru ask themselves... to make a different film or to play it safe?
Vaastu Prakara disappoints mainly because of the towering expectation from a Bhatru film. It has some inherent flaws too - it is, after all, a quirky romantic comedy drama in which the characters outweigh and eventually overwhelm the plot.
Bhatru, having taken many responsibilities in various departments, tries to keep the film entertaining and unconventionally cerebral. The story is simple, but the details are too many. Thus, though the result is entertaining, the film ends predictably despite the multi-layered narrative. It does have its share of good moments and a few wonderful verbal insights, but not much of a story.
A serious topic, dealt with a touch of comedy, Vaastu Prakara, takes a jab at the Vaastu culture and uses it as a potent metaphor. The story revolves around Kubera (Rakshit Shetty), son of a vaastu analyst, (played by T N Seetharam). He does not believe in vaastu or anything to do with astrology. Due to the father-son duo’s constant feuds, Kubera’s mother (Sudha Belawadi) forces him to leave the village.
He reaches Vastenia, a fictional city, (shot in Switzerland), where he visits his uncle (Jaggesh), who used to own a cricket bat company, but lost it.
The duo start a vaastu company to earn a living and end up meeting young Ritu (Aishani Shetty), who agrees to get her house renovated according to the ancient science to bring her estranged parents (Anant Nag and Sudharani) back together. As the house gets renovated, Ritu gets romantically involved with Kubera. The tale gets a twist when Kubera’s father visits Ritu’s house and tells her that his son is a vaastu non-believer.
The questions whether Ritu’s parents get back together and what happens to Kubera and his uncle, form the rest of the story.
The director allows the film to gently meander in several interesting directions, but what the film lacks, its actors make up for by doing their job well but a certain amount of patience is required to sit through the film.
The film could get a devoted cult following in part because of the humourous and delightful performance by Jaggesh.
He is accompanied well by Rakshit Shetty. Parul Yadav is apt in the role of a lawyer. Young Aishani Shetty has given her best shot too.
This apart, the supporting cast of Sudharani, Anant Nag, Sudha Belawadi, and T N Seetharam play their parts to perfection.
Another strength of Vaastu Prakara is its music by V Harikrishna. Cinematographer Santosh Rai Pathanje could have done much more, considering most of the film was shot in a foreign location.
The editing desk disappoints. A few scenes between Anant Nag and Sudharani gets repetitive and boring.
Bhatru has encouraged improvisation and worked with actors to create their own situations and dialogues, resulting in some moments of humour.
But his penchant for quirkiness wears thin, with nonsensical bits thrown in, which seem to be there for his own amusement.
All in all this is one film that can neither be totally accepted nor be rejected.