There are broadly two ways to win over the audience and fulfil their expectations. One is to come up with something entirely fresh that has not been said or seen before. And the second is to present the familiar things in a surprisingly innovative manner, providing a novel experience grabbing the audience from the collars.
Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana successfully cracks the second and does it in style, repeatedly bringing you onto the edge of your seats in its 151 minutes of duration. The film is a bold and ruthless presentation of the same old plot, narrating the rise and fall of two gangsters, their mutual rivalry, and a police officer playing the key role in their elimination. But despite the familiar terrain, it never lets you sit back and relax, keeping you constantly engrossed in its fast-paced events.
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Beginning with an extraordinary presentation of their childhood, the writing beautifully amalgamates mythological references with characters named Shiva, Hari, and Bramhaiyya (representing Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh). Narrated through the voice-over of Bramhaiyya (the police officer), the drama begins once his character enters the proceedings, changing the entire scenario.
Led by impressive performances both by the lead and supporting cast, Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana, also excels in its technique, brilliantly elevating the visualisation of the actor-writer-director Raj B Shetty. Majorly contributing in its excellence are the cinematographer and editor (Praveen Shriyan) and the background score composer (Midhun Mukundan), together creating cinematic magic on screen. They collectively make you feel the adrenaline rush, strongly reminding you of the films getting roaring applause in the times of single-screen theatres.
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For instance, after a long time, I could hear thundering applause for just the voice of the hero’s bike and after decades heard screams and whistles on the sight of white blood-soaked shoes on the screen (strongly reminding me of the veteran Raaj Kumar). Honestly, I never thought Shetty would come up with this kind of shocking gangster film, doing a stunning Tiger dance (representing Shiva’s Tandav) as his second outing post the thoughtful Ondu Motteya Kathe.
Without glorifying the violence, he delivers a well-crafted film that also showcases the pain and loneliness felt by the gangsters, silently dealing with their inner turmoil. On the whole, the film might appear repetitive, predictably ending on an underwhelming note. But it is indeed a breakthrough in Kannada cinema worth applauding, bringing the cinematic experience back as felt and witnessed in the gone era. Thankfully, it has been released in theatres, as that is where it belongs, offering a spellbinding experience to the starving cinema-loving audience.
TITLE: GARUDA GAMANA VRISHABHA VAHANA (Kannada)
CAST: Raj B Shetty, Rishab Shetty, Gopalkrishna Deshpande
DIRECTOR: Raj B Shetty
WHERE: At a theatre near you
RATING: 4 stars
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