BANGALORE: After a long time, Sandalwood has given us a film which has all the elements of a classic. Directed by cinematographer-turned-director S Krishna, Gajakesari takes inspiration from a few period dramas, literature, fables and legends, but this romantic action entertainer, has a lot of unique flavours with a dash of patriotism to boot.
The film is well orchestrated and gives a perfect glimpse into a turbulent historical period, without avoiding the current realities. The story is engaging, the characters well balanced and of course the adroit casting must be applauded.
With Rocking Star Yash and Amoolya playing the lead roles, the special attraction of Gajakesari is Kalinga, the elephant, which plays a pivotal role in the film.
The story opens with Baddi Krishna (Yash), a carefree youth residing in Mysore. Anant Nag is the matadhipathi (the chief of a temple) who wants Baddi Krishna to succeed him.
However, Krishna has no interest in traditional practices. His adamant stance provokes the chief to give him a task that takes him into the heart of Anneguda forest.
The plot takes a twist when Krishna goes back 360 years where he was Bahubali.
What is impressive is that the magic created by the director never seems absurd.
Will Krishna end up being the 29th chief of the temple? Why do the matadipathi, his mother and his friends insist that Krishna be the successor of the temple? The story behind Krishna’s fondness towards Kalinga forms the crux of the story which has a dramatic finish.
Stylishly directed and replete with an excellent design sense and costumes, Krishna keeps the sequences engaging in every angle. Despite all the blood and gore, Yash as Bahubali remains a mythical figure. The actor’s charm has been utilised well by the director and Gajakesari undoubtedly becomes Yash’s best performance.
Amoolya has justified her image makeover as a bird researcher and a tagaru putti to Baddi Krishna. The villain’s plot in the movie is hazily explained. But the supporting cast, mainly Sadhu Kokila, Rangayana Raghu among others have performed well.
Sathya Hegde as cinematographer and Krishna have scouted some great locations. Santosh Anandram’s dialogues are exemplary and highlight the essence of Karnataka. He has also paid tribute to Rajkumar through his dialogues. Harikrishna’s music is melodious and quite apt for the situations.
Verdict: Gajakesari is a must watch this summer. Watch it for Krishna’s direction and Rocking Star Yash’s first attempt at period drama.
Cast: Yash and Amoolya
Director: S Krishna