A haunted auto-rickshaw sounds strange as the focal point of a movie, but this is how director Krish draws the audience to his unconventional flick. With Kapata Nataka Paatradhaari, the director takes the audience on a journey with a simple story, creating a middle-class atmosphere. The film opens with auto driver Krishna (Balu Nagendra) landing in the police station, with a complaint filed against him.
The complaint states that three people who took a ride in his auto have gone missing. That’s when Krishna gets to narrate his life story, his motive to become an auto driver and the paranormal activities faced by his passengers while commuting. All this is made believable by the good acting. Incidentally, this is a story cooked up by him for his love for Rukmini (Sangeetha Bhat), who works in a garment factory. However, Krishna lands in mysterious circumstances, when he witnesses a dramatic change in his life. Getting a taste of his own medicine, Krishna’s auto is possessed by a ghost. The later part of the film unfolds the reason, and how it impacts Krishna’s life is shown in predictable ways and ends with a cold climax.
Krish, in his first attempt, makes the audience travel through a deja vu feeling with an innovative premise. The director gives a new spin-off to the regular horror setup, and infuses it with emotion, which comes with twists and turns. Keeping an auto in the forefront of the story, the very limited characters, subtle comical moments, and the technical aspect — especially the background music scored by Adil Nadaf — go with the genre. Balu Nagendra of Huliraaya fame has come up with a natural performance, supported by Sangeetha Bhat, who becomes the soul of the story and plays her role effectively. The two lead actors are well-pitched into the story, with good performances by the rest of the cast.
Krish, who traced the auto driver’s life on a shoestring budget, also managed to blend it with love, a pinch of suspense and horror and presents the movie differently. It’s a breezy, spooky ride that everyone should be able to enjoy.
Movie: Kapata Nataka Paatradhaari
Cast: Balu Nagendra and Sangeetha Bhat