'Sapta Sagaradaache Ello' review: A profound portrait of Love

Caught within the tumult of unexpected twists, the film poses an intriguing question: how unyielding is their devotion amidst the tempestuous waves of life's trials?
Rakshit Shetty and Rukmini Vasanth in 'Sapta Sagaradaache Ello'. (Photo | Express)
Rakshit Shetty and Rukmini Vasanth in 'Sapta Sagaradaache Ello'. (Photo | Express)

Romance has two new faces Rakshit Shetty and Rukmini Vasanth introduce us to a fresh portrayal of love in Sapta Sagaradaache Ello Side A. Through the rushes and the trailer, it was clear that director Hemanth M Rao was aiming to deliver an intense love story with a poetic narrative. The film, which explores the intricate dynamics between Manu (Rakshit Shetty) and Priya (Rukmini Vasanth), gives exactly what was promised. Rakshit and Hemanth, who are reuniting after Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu, along with Rukmini give us a cinematic gem for the ages.

By now, Hemanth is known for his slow pace while narrating a compelling story and giving the characters space to breathe. This unwavering patience in unfurling a gripping narrative is the core of Sapta Sagaradaache Ello Side A too.

The enchanting tale begins with the title song that introduces us to the sound of waves, the bright side of love, and the simple romantic moments beautifully expressed through the lives of middle-class lovebirds Manu and Priya. Manu drives cars for the rich whereas Priya is an aspiring singer. The connection between Manu and Priya is so profound that circumstances arise when they willingly embrace the roles of a married couple while navigating the labyrinthine streets of Bengaluru in search of a home. 

Together they dream of finding a special corner. The catch, though, is that they are far removed from this reality and have no means financially to aid that dream either. So, when a seemingly big opportunity tantalises Manu, their lives and love reach a crossroads.  

Caught within the tumult of unexpected twists, the film poses an intriguing question: how unyielding is their devotion amidst the tempestuous waves of life's trials? Does their love survive the test of adversity, or does it succumb? These questions constitute the core of the film's narrative. However, the director has only shared half of the story in this film. The remainder of the narrative is reserved for the second instalment, Sapta Sagaradaache Ello - Side B.

Hemanth captures fleeting yet profound moments that encompass a range of emotions - from the soothing sound of waves and the comforting warmth of sunlight to the sheer joy of laughter and the bittersweet tears of nostalgia. The film's intensity is heightened by its well-crafted writing, further elevated by the impressive performances of its cast. Director Hemanth's storytelling style is deliberate. He is never one to rush. He takes his time, patiently and convincingly portraying what he feels needs to be said. Even in the midst of the slow pace, Hemanth has successfully captured the intense love, silence, words, sorrow, playfulness, separation, temptation, and restraint. However, the director has taken more time to introduce the main characters and their goals, intentions, desires, and ambitions to the audience, which at times becomes more extensive than necessary. The prison scenes effectively depict the harsh realities of the ones living life behind bars.

In the spotlight, Rakshit Shetty becomes the emblem of Manu, stepping into the limelight within Sapta Sagaradaache Ello. He accentuates his versatility, rendering the character with vivid authenticity. Rukmini Vasanth effortlessly emerges as the luminary, and she doles out a remarkable performance as Priya, a role that demands depth and complexity. The intensity she brings to the character is awe-inspiring, and her eyes articulate a symphony of emotions. The chemistry between them is a wonderful highlight. A special mention is deserved for the various actors, including Rames Indira, Pavithra Lokesh, Sharath Lohithashwa and Gopal Deshpande.

While this film is a sincere love story, there is no attempt to force songs into it. Music director Charan Raj mostly immerses himself in the background score, and the songs are used organically and wonderfully. More importantly, he has effectively used the language of silence. Cinematographer Advaita Gurumurthy, who has captured all kinds of emotions is impressive. There is simplicity in the dialogue that accentuates the depth of the lines.

Since this is the first part of a two-parter, a significant portion of Sapta Sagaradaache Ello Side A feels like an extended introduction.  Just as the story begins to unfold, we are asked to gear up for Side B. What happened to the love story of Manu and Priya? What will the impact of Surabhi (Chaitra Achar) be in their lives? All that will be answered in Side B, but for now, let's just bask in the beautiful poem that Hemanth and Co have written for an audience that was parched for classic romance.

Film: Sapta Sagaradaache Ello

Director: Hemanth M Rao

Cast: Rakshit Shetty, Rukmini Vasanth, Indra Ramesh, Gopalkrishna Deshpande,

Rating: 3.5/5

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