Debutant director Vijay Naagendra manages to combine elements of the heart and mind, while also incorporating a sense of patriotism, in Geetha. He conjures up a mature subject and deals with it beautifully, cleverly connecting the dots in the love story narrated over two generations. Geetha deals with the topics of friendship, love and family during the 1980s and stretches over to the present day.
Akash (Ganesh), a software engineer, and Geetha (Prayaga Martin), a strong and opinionated woman who works for an NGO, form the base for the story. Both of them keep having small arguments as and when they bump into each other. Incidentally, Akash happens to attend Geetha’s engagement with Prem (Vishal Hegde).
There, he meets Priya (Shanvi Srivastav). They end up working in the same office and become friends. Akash’s parents, Shankar (Devaraj) and Aarti (Swathi), are separated, leaving their son in pain. Priya tries to reconcile his parents but fails. That’s when Shankar opens up with his son, explaining the separation.
In a flashback sequence, we see that a younger Shankar (played by Ganesh) is a college student and activist from Mysore, fighting for the revival of Kannada and taking part in the Gokak agitation along with writers, freedom fighters, and actors like Dr Rajkumar, Vishnuvardhan, Ambareesh and Shankar Nag.
Shankar is in love with Geethanjali (Parvathy Arun), and he also has a friend, Aarti (Shanvi Srivastav).
During the course of the agitation, circumstances lead Shankar to leave Geethanjali and marry Aarti. The first half of the film connects with the second half when Akash takes up a new job in Kolkata, and meets his father’s former love interest, Geethanjali (played by Sudharani).
Akash also has to decide whom to tie the knot with — good old friend Priya, or Geetha, with whom he connects at heart? The major twist comes at the pre-climax stage when Akash runs into Geetha at the railway station.
The end deals with how Geethanjali reacts on realising who Akash is, and how he, in turn, deals with Geetha. Does he express his love? The relationship of various people, who come at different stages, culminates with the evergreen song— Geetha Sangeetha — of the classic film, sending everyone back on the memory lane.
For a story that seems complicated, Naagendra, also the writer of Geetha, has handled the subject with maturity. A neat screenplay is what makes the audience relate to it, and connects the thread of the present and past relationships.
With Naagendra in charge, it is teamwork that fuels the movie. Setting the love story in the backdrop of a sensitive issue like Gokak agitation is a well-thought idea, which is well handled too.
The episode does bring a sense of patriotism among the audience, especially those who feel a love for their mother tongue. Dialogue writers Nagendra and Santhosh Ananddram deserve special mention, especially for the lines written for Gokak Chaluvali, that spark a loyal feeling.
The director should also be applauded for selecting the right cast, and showing the settings and placing the characters in the 1980s. He has drawn a thin line in terms of treatment of various relationships (friendship, love, marriage, family) in the 1980s and the present age, and it is to the point.
Ganesh has enhanced the director’s thoughts and makes no mistake. The actor, who comes across in two shades, exceeds expectations with his appearance, look, behaviour, body language, and costumes.
The romantic side of Ganesh is more or less a cakewalk for the actor. He has handled the Gokak episode with equal aplomb, and one can see a sense of pride through his performance.
Prayaga Martin, who plays an independent woman, beautifully portrays a character who believes in standing by her decisions. Parvathy Arun, who plays a shy non-Kannadiga girl who mostly talks through expressions and learns the local language through her relationships has put up a good performance.
Like Ganesh, Shanvi too has two shades to play and she doesjustice to her roles. Devaraj and Swathi have an integral role to play in the film, and Achyuth Kumar makes an important appearance in the love drama.
Music composer Anup Rubens has given importance to the background score. The songs get the right placement, and the highlight of the album is the patriotic track -- Kanadave Sathya Kannada Nitya.
Cinematographer Shreesha Kuduvalli goes hand in hand with the mood of the film. Geetha is not your regular love story. The subject, which deals with two generations and explores various relationships, will fill your heart, mind and soul.
Cast: Ganesh, Prayaga Martin, Shanvi Srivastav, Parvathy Arun and Sudharani