Once in a rare while, there is jubilation in Sandalwood. With films such as Godhi Banna…, Rangitaranga, Kendasampige and even Thithi, we saw admiration but we missed euphoria. Raajakumara is a cinematic experience, a complete family entertainer.
The credit goes equally to both director Santhosh Ananddram and Puneeth Rajkumar, who doled out entertainment backed by amply rich production standards.
Raajakumara changes the way commercial cinema is being made in Sandalwood, reviving the madness that would go with a Rajkumar release. Here is a movie that shows how you can make money using commercial elements to tell a moving story.
The story is about abandoning your parents when they need you the most, in their old age. Santhosh’s Raajakumara is an eloquent narration and the central ‘character’ is the void that exists between parents and children.
The film opens in Australia with Siddarth (Puneeth), son of a big businessman, Ashok (Sharathkumar), falling in love with the daughter of his father’s friend. But when all seem to be going good, Siddarth’s life comes to halt when his entire family perishes in an airplane crash.
What brings Siddarth back to India and the reason he goes back to Kasturi Nivasa, an old-age home, brings us to one part of the story. The rest is about his fight against political leaders who abuse the healthcare system.
Santhosh fills the film with action, fun, love and drama, giving everything for hardcore Puneeth fans. Directed with care, without taking any cue from Annavaru’s films, Santhosh successfully tells a simple tale as a mammoth entertainer through Puneeth.
The director pays homage to the local culture with his story, dialogues and screenplay. Though the length of the film could put people off, the subject is fascinating with realistic elements, ending on a memorable note. Puneeth is definitely the new age Rajkumar, walking along the shadow of his father. Giving an added dimension is V Harikrishna, with his songs and background score, and Venkatesh Anguraj, through his picturisation.
A special mention should be made of Bombe Heluthaite song, which stands out and blends into the story. Priya Anand, paired opposite Puneeth, has got the right debut in Kannada and she has done justice to her role. The supporting cast includes Sharathkumar, Anant Nag, Dattanna and Achyuth Kumar, and they give a superb performance.
Another highlight is the director’s knack of blending comedy through scenes with Rangayana Raghu, Chikkanna and Sadhu Kokila.
Beautifully directed with a remarkable lead performance by Puneeth, Raajkumara could be a perfect summer watch with the family. Don’t miss the end credits, it will invoke nostalgia. With a few rare photos of Rajkumar as the backdrop, the film ends with a few golden words - ‘Greatness lies in simplicity’.