Cast: Sriimurali, Shiva Rajkumar, Shanvi Shrivastava
A change from the regular family dramas and romances that Sandalwood has produced this year, Mufti depicts the harsh realities of life and cascades effortlessly into the mass-film category.
Narthan’s first action film is all sound and fury, and equally a visual treat. While Sriimurali carries his signature style, Shivarajkumar is portrayed in a never-before-seen role. Mufti is distinct with exemplary work from technicians including Ravi Basrur’s background score and Naveen Kumar’s cinematography.
With a neat screenplay, the film tells an interesting story with an undercover cop Gana (Sriimurali) and Bhairathi Ranagal (Shivarajkumar). The latter, a Robin Hood of sorts to the people of Ronapura, is a demon to lawmakers. Gana arrives alone to Ronapura,determined to clean up the place, and joins hands with Kashi (Vasishta Simha) to enter Bhairathi’s gang. After much effort, Gana finally gains entry into the gangster’s mansion and is left astonished by the leader’s popularity.
Instead of capturing Bhairathi Gana saves the gangster’s life, especially from politician Raghuveer Bhat (Devaraj). What is Bairathi’s reaction when he learns about Gana’s real profession, will the cop go by law and punish Bhairathi for his wrongdoings and does he win over Bhairathi heart are threads that come together in a sensible climax.
With good acting, this action drama has its own striking moments especially the exchange of dialogues between Shivarajkumar and Sriimurali and the latter with Vasishta Simha.Narthan, who has done right with the casting, has managed to tell a gritty gangster tale with ethics and story in place. He also convincingly captures the subplot -- the relationship Bhairathi and his sister Vedhavati, played by Chaya.
The industry took notice of Sriimurali in Ugramm,which became his defining film. In Mufti, he lives the role with charm and the right body language. He has few dialogues and manages to convey it with physical nuances and with his expressive face.
Though Shivarajkumar comes into the picture at the interval, he has given a praiseworthy performance. A significant role, the Century star never ceases to catch the audience’s attention. The two share an excellent chemistry.
While other characters such as Devaraj and Vasishta are portrayed with admirable restraint, Shanvi Srivasta as Sriimurali’s love interest and Chikkanna and Sadhu Kokila’s miss-and-blink comedy track add lighter moments to this conspiracy drama.Mufti looks promising and will be another film in Sriimurali’s hit list, and Shivarajkumar’s role will stay in the minds of moviegoers.