'Kaddha Chitra' movie review: A middling mystery unraveled through the excessive vices

Overwhelmed by the relentless pressures of the publishing industry and media scrutiny, Vijay retreats to Kerala with his daughter, Shanvi, seeking solace in a guest house.

Published: 09th September 2023 12:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2023 12:03 PM   |  A+A-

Vijay Raghavendra and Namratha Surendranath

Express News Service

The initial disclaimer warning against smoking and alcohol consumption seems rather misplaced in Kaddha Chitra, considering that nearly every frame features the protagonist either clutching a cigarette or a bottle, a visual manifestation of a writer’s habit deftly portrayed by filmmaker Suhas Krishna, which sets the tone for the film and leaves a lasting first impression. How this character fits into the larger narrative is a tantalising mystery that lingers throughout.

Meet Vijay Kshatriya (Vijay Raghavendra), an accomplished writer whose life takes a dramatic turn when he relocates to Bangalore, where he falls in love with Aditi (Namratha Surendranath). They marry, and start a family with their daughter, Shanvi. As Vijay crafts his next bestselling novel, allegations of plagiarism threaten to derail his career and shatter his marriage, leaving him grappling with mood swings and depression.

Overwhelmed by the relentless pressures of the publishing industry and media scrutiny, Vijay retreats to Kerala with his daughter, Shanvi, seeking solace in a guest house. There, he observes Shanvi forming an unusual bond with an invisible friend and uncovers the dark history of a girl’s murder at the same location. Intrigued, Vijay decides to weave this chilling tale into a new novel, hoping for a comeback.

His resurgence is short-lived, as accusations of plagiarism resurface, plunging him into a perilous battle to prove his innocence. Blurring the lines between reality and illusion, Vijay embarks on a quest to unveil the truth behind a close associate’s brutal murder, ultimately, seeking redemption and vindication. However, the culprits resurface at the hospital, leaving us with a tantalising hint of what’s to come in Part 2.

Suhas Krishna’s exploration of plagiarism as a central theme in the film is undoubtedly intriguing, yet the execution leaves much to be desired right from the outset. The first half of the narrative delves into the protagonist’s love story, their marriage, and the joys of parenthood. However, the abrupt shift towards allegations of plagiarism and a subsequent focus on a guest house where he obsessively searches for his daughter disrupts the flow and purpose of the storyline. It’s unclear whether the director intended to dissect plagiarism as a theme or if it was merely an incidental element introduced to bring in the crime aspect, without clear direction.

The overindulgence in smoking and excessive alcohol consumption scenes further muddles the narrative, especially when juxtaposed with a poorly-handled depiction of sexual harassment. As for Vijay Raghavendra, he undoubtedly possesses acting prowess, but his portrayal in this role as a writer, appears somewhat lackadaisical, with drinking and smoking becoming predominant traits.  

Apart from Vijay, the remaining cast members fail to elevate the film. The technical aspects of the production also leave much to be desired, with only a few instances of vibrant green landscapes by Sri Crazymindzz managing to inject some life into the visuals.

While Vijay Raghavendra’s acting prowess is undeniable, here’s why we feel this particular film might not be everyone’s cup of tea. One, the film’s use of plagiarism as a plot device to introduce a crime angle feels underdeveloped and lacks justification. Moreover, the intriguing elements that initially pique one’s interest ultimately become a mystery in themselves, leaving the audience perplexed. Indeed, it’s questionable whether the story warrants continuation.

Kaddha Chitra
Director: Suhas Krishna
Cast: Vijay Raghavendra, Namratha Surendranath, Baby Aradhya, Raghu Shivamogga, and Balaji Manohar
Rating: 2/5

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