I had the opportunity of watching two very different films in Mangalore, recently. S.S. Rajamouli’s much acclaimed Hindi version of the original Telugu ‘Bahubali-2 Conclusion‘ and Harry Fernandes’ Konkani film Sophiya.
While Bahubali is brilliant for its special effects, graphics, and animation, the same thing can’t be said of its structure. I haven’t watched its first part – The Beginning. But those who have watched both the films tell me it is not necessary to watch the first. And they are absolutely right. There is no reference to the “I”.
I must say the entire film stands on its graphics, special effects, and sound design. But the film is worth the 168 minutes you spend on.
The Konkani is an orphan child. Sad for the little Coastal language. The little spoken minority, endangered coastal language has been struggling to make films in the last few decades. In a fragmented yet highly competitive cut-throat commercial world, a minority language like Konkani can’t afford to create pieces of mass produced, massed consum-able arts. But that in spite of the lack of a collective history or talent pool or an avalanche of resources, it still has dared make a film is great news.
From a critical perspective, the film is a bore – though the hundred plus audiences in the second week of its release in a multiplex screen seemed to enjoyed the film thoroughly! You hear your fellow viewers hum the lines of the songs happily!
From the story point, it is a very poor script and a plot. Nothing solid to hold on to. The same priest – the church – Catholic community environs. Konkani culture has not yet severed its priestly umbilical cords.
And then there is bad casting of almost all the characters – especially the child (Annie), her dad Alwyn, the physician and everybody else. The child has been badly handled. The director’s inexperience (in spite of the claims of having worked with many filmmakers) stands out. Sophiya’s final song on the beauty of the land is a absolute out-of-place in its tune as well as relevance. The best I can say about it is it is a childish venture, gone fully out of control, with the absolute ignorance of watching some post-independence era films.