#MovieReviews #KantaraHindi #KANTARA #divineblockbuster #ಕಾಂತಾರ #कांतारा

My reflections on the #KantaraMovie

This is not a Review. This is just a summarised enumeration of some of the finest things in the movie & its importance.

Anything said is an understatement.

1. As somebody else said on Twitter, our dEvatAs are back. We have regained the dEvatAs/the Sacred with a critical space in the Cinema.

Make no mistake, we have had Devotee-characters in our cinema. But we now have dEvatAs as an integral part of the plot, narration & essence.

2. We have regained independence from ‘Realism’ as the primary form of telling a story.

Nagin/Magadheera, Fantasy movies stories were shy attempts.

Kantara is an unabashed foregrounding of the Indian form. The Myth merges with the Real to create a universal form.

3. Kantara is a triumph of the Deseeya form. What Bahubali is for the Margeeya - the Classical, Kantara is for the Deseeya - the Folk.

But, the Deseeya touches the Margeeya at its core & peak. Guliga, Panjurli Devata, Varahaswamy, Folk Dance & Classical Music are together.

4. Kantara presents a grand Civilizational/Cultural conflict going through a very simple story.

The perspective of the forest communities, Modernity, the State, Progress/Development clash.

Greed (Artha, Kama) clashes with the Divinity (Dharma/Moksha) - within the culture.

5. Kantara is a simple Folk Story but an extraordinarily rich detail that will shame a modern anthropologist.

Its amazing that so much detail can be packed into a single movie while using every detail to present a dimension of the story.

A Literary & Visual achievement.

6. The whole movie is shot within a few square kilometres. All innovation/investment is towards set making for every scene. No foreign travel, no unnecessary cost.

No VFX too in spite of the movie ticking all boxes of a fantasy.

Such an emancipation for future makers.

7. From the making stand-point, Kantara shines in every department of the craft - Acting, Cinematography, Editing, Music, Script, Lyrics, Dance - literally everything.

But its the making Confidence, Vision, Direction which makes a difference.

Its #RishabhShetty all the way.

8. Every single character contributes.

-Nobody is more/less important except the protagonist himself
-The lead actress is not a property
-Silent Characters make a difference through their Silence
-Prominent/Minor roles are all well etched.

Triumph of Characterisation.

9. Acting is just absolutely brilliant.

-RishabhShetty has essayed the role of his life
-SaptamiGowda fits her character to the T
-Protagonist’s brother depicts the Kola performer’s sense of sacred in every appearance
-AchyutKumar deserves all the hate - such a Villain.

10. Once again Ajaneesh Lokanath impresses in the Music - both in songs and in the background.

- Apt understated music for every scene
- Two brilliant songs
- Brilliant orchestration of Kola, Folks Songs
- Is very much another character in the movie
- Folk, Classical together

11. Amazingly Edited movie - mindblowing.

The kind of complexity it has - at once a story, a visual, a documentary, a musical, action, fantasy. So much detail, so many forms, so many elements drawn from a rich life.

All scenes well knit into a brilliant overall movie.

12. The language used in the Script, Dialogues, Lyrics - beautiful Kannada/Tulu from the Coastal Karnataka with a Kundapura flavour I guess.

Aesthetically brilliant Script literature.

When an English word comes it plays a role to depict an aspect of the character/community.

13. I single Cinematography for special appreciation.

For this movie with all its traditional, folk, Forest, local detail, diverse elements, Divine experiences, the kind of action it has, innovative Cinematography was needed.

It wins because it offers a Divine experience.

14. But, finally, it is Rishabh Shetty all the way. Its his Vision, Direction, Script and Acting.

A performance of his life - with Shraddha & Sanskriti. Of Authenticity, Devotion, Sense of Purpose.

And Excellence throughout.

Fulfillment of Pitr Rna, Daiva Rna, Samaja Rna.

15. Two reasons why the movie stands-out - Excellence & Authenticity.

These are the lived experiences of Rishabh & his team. It has made a difference to their lives. They have made this movie first for themselves & then for the audience.

Business subservient to Culture.

16. Why is this so important for us - Bharateeya?

- Brings back a confidence in the Local
- Demonstrates that the Local in India touches the Universal

“Unity in Diversity” & “Diversity in Unity”.

Across India people are watching it in Kannada with subtitles & appreciating.

17. The Story has elements from Fantasy, Puranas, Realism, Musical, Exaggeration, Visual, Folk & Classical.

Its a phenomenal artistic achievement weave into a form to tell a Contemporary Story with a sense of Past, Present and Future.

An amazing Continuity - Saatatya.

18. It has shown that

- Be Local in your substance. You can still be universal in relevance

- Make a movie about a small corner of the universe without inferiority, atrocity but present its cultural essence, beauty & perspective

- Kashi will love a story from Kundapura

19. It shown that

- Divinity is an integral part of our lives.
- Keeping Divinity away from our art forms we have impoverished our artistic products as well as our lives

Greatest example of Decolonization without using that word.

A nudge for us to use our own Lenses.

20. Finally coming to what Rishabh offers us in the last 20 minutes. There is no parallel.

Its Divinity & Transcendence without exaggeration. Performs Cathartic Civilizational correction in your mind.

Just that one thing that I have longed forever in a Movie.

Special appreciation to @hombalefilms .

For having that confidence
- to support Rishabh, make/distribute this movie.
- in our Civilization, our culture, in ourselves.

You have served your ancestors very well.

dhanyavAda, ಧನ್ಯವಾದ, धन्यवाद !

May you all make many many more movies

@hombalefilms @shetty_rishab @gowda_sapthami @KantaraFilm
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More from @SaamaanyaJ

Oct 7
Good one. This needs further expansion.

We were one people much before the word Hindu became a descriptor. The Puranas & Mahabharata present this unimpeachable reality. Vishnupurana (VP) does this most beautifully & succinctly.

Let us see what VP says about Us as a People.
Vishnupurana is a major Purana consisting of 7000 verses. Modern Historians date it between 400BC to 900AD. Even if you average it out, it is pre-Gupta.

It has 6 Amshas (large Parts). The first 3 Chapters of 2nd Amsha - are illuminating. Our Concern here is the 3rd Ch.

The very first Shloka is illuminating.

uttaraM yatsamudrasya himAdrEshchaiva dakShiNam ||
varShaM tadbhArataM nAma baratee yatra saMtatiH || 1 ||

उत्तरम यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम ||
वर्षं तद्भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः || 1 ||

Hits many 6-ers in one Shloka.

Read 23 tweets
Oct 2
On the eve of #GandhiJayanti , I am settling into my own assessment of his contribution and importance.

This thread is a reflection of my own assessment based on what I have read about Gandhi - through his own writings and others.

Will begin with Positives & then Negatives.

1. His understanding of the Indian past. Among the few who had no inferiority about the Tradition.
- Actively defended the Kula-Jati-Varna aspect of the Society
- Held the Indian Kings in great esteem.
- Understand the functional mechanics of the society, spoke its language

2. His understanding of Modernity and its evil dimension.

Hind Swaraj is the most scathing criticism of Modernity ever. May not contain complex abstract nouns, models, theories, hypothesis.

But represents fundamental issues of Modernity in a way all can understand.

Read 17 tweets
Jul 1
When Draupadi was disrobed and thereafter, we must remember the way each responded in the Kuru Sabha.

1. The general Sabhasada-s were shocked in horror but did not have sufficient courage to respond.

2. Dushyasana was the performer. He obviously derived a vulgar pleasure.

…But he would not have had the courage but for the authority of Duryodhana.

3. Shakuni was serving Duryodhana. He was the enabler but would never have been the performer. Not that mindless. Ever-ready to join the chorus. A very predictable behaviour.

4. Karna, of course, was the instigator. That Karna could stoop down to such a level is shocking. But one can understand. His personality is revealed progressively in Mahabharata. A sense of loss results in an eternal drift if you dont take charge.

Read 12 tweets
Jun 3
Watched Panchayat Season-2. Completely mesmerised.

Finally something on Television/OTT that I could watch dropping my cultural-guard.

Reminded me of Malgudi Days and good old Doordarshan, which even in a socialist era brought out the essence of the society & culture better.

The most important positive about the Series is its portrayal of the society without pushing any ideological agenda.

The village is portrayed for what it is - the good, the bad & the ugly. And presenting all facets of the life within it.

The Village triumphs finally.

Before one marks anything else about the movie the praise must begin with
- the Writer Chandan Kumar &
- the Director, Deepak Kumar Mishra
- &, Of Course, the TVF

for the Vision/Conviction that this kind of a portrayal will sell & crafting a run-away hit version of it.

Read 13 tweets
Jun 3
Technology has following dimensions.

1. The Process of its creation

2. Who benefits from the Technology and how, and who does not

3. Civilizational impact
- What problem does it solve and create
- What experience does it create and destroy
The value created by technology has its own past present and future.

Right now our focus is way too much the present.

We evaluate technology only based on who benefits materially today.

The socio, psychological impact of the process of creation & it's presence in the society..
... are totally forgotten.

This does not mean that we succumb to the divisive Social Impact Lobby. But we need to first develop our own way of thinking about technology.

It's important to note that if Technology is purely material then it affects our access to the Sacred...
Read 4 tweets
Mar 6
The Hindu world has many things to offer. Among the many 2 important things.

1. A Philosophical basis & a set of frameworks for Diversity, Sustainability and so on.

2. A Performative Framework that is aligned with that philosophy consisting of 5 Kinds of Experiences in Balance.
Point 1 leads to a different Theory of Change and Time, very crucial for sustainability.

Point 2 is about a good composition of Performative, Consummatory, Aesthetic, Ritualistic and Renunciatory Experiences

Modernity significantly differs in both.
There are two choices in front of our society.

Find a place for yourselves within the Modern world, kind of a bubble.


Digest the modern world within your Universe.

The former will be Apaddharma. The latter will be the real destination.
Read 6 tweets

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