Film: Mass Leader
Cast: Shivarajkumar, Pranitha Subhash, Sharmiela Mandre, Vijay Raghavendra, Gururaj Jaggesh,
Sandalwood is not yet creatively and technically carved enough to make a believable film on the army life. That is one aspect that clearly comes out of director Narasimha’s Mass Leader. But, over the years, in all its triviality, the audience has developed ingrained capabilities to applaud a protagonist who can become an ex-army personnel and deliver a mission, which can make the society livable. And when it is played by Shivarajkumar, there is mass appeal.
Even then, Mass Leader disappoints in bits; Shivarajkumar being the only saving grace for a plot which tries to cover umpteen malevolent acts as can be in a short slot. So, you have bullets, terrorists, bravery, patriotism all in a potpourri which travels through stretched action scenes, political scenario in Karnataka, illegal entry of Bangladeshis to Karnataka, ganja suppliers, supari killers…well, too much of negativity leaves enough room for oddity.
Timely enough to come around the Independence Day, it is an ‘average’ tribute to the army personnel, with Shivaraj (Shivarajkumar), a former army officer, all out to clean the society from corruption even when on the verge of losing his only surviving daughter. His sacrifices, shown in a flash back, bring forth a fight in the later part of the second half.
Although Narasimha confuses with too many elements woven in the first half, he tries to hold the script and streamline all that he did wrong by stitching incidents in a bearable manner after the interval. However, it is Shivarajkumar who holds the film together throughout.If not for his star value and towering presence, this film would have died down.
Joining him is Vijay Raghavendra and Gururaj Jaggesh, lending good support. Of course, Sharmiele is worth mentioning, who blends into the character of a journalist, even adding the oomph factor. Pranitha playing Shivarajkumar’s wife makes her presence felt well and so is Ashika Ranganath as his sister. Child artiste, Parinitha is adorable. Vamsi Krishna as the antagonist has a mild presence.
Technically, music by Veer Samarth lends no feel of patriotism. The action sequences lend no impact, thanks to the jarring background score. The cinematography is good only in parts. The edit desk’s inefficiency is obvious. One sequence to watch out: the chasing scene in Kashmir.
Overall, watch Mass Leader for the charisma that Shivarajkumar still holds.