Kahi is 2016 Kannada thriller written and directed by Aravind Shastry. It stars Harisharva, Krishi Tapanda, Matangi Prasan and Suraj Gowda. It is a thriller about 4 people living very different lives and how their lives converge to a specific event.
To begin with, I, personally had a hard time coming to grips with the type of review this film deserved. It was not a question of understanding what was being shown on-screen but a question of how well it has been put together. It is a question of themes being explored and their relevance. After a couple of days after letting the movie sit, drawing up a conclusion did not seem as hard.
To start with, the film was made by a fresh crew and a relatively inexperienced cast. Using that as an excuse is something which should not be done. The film going public at large have been exposed to smaller budget high concept films which have been executed well. This is the film’s first undoing. The filmmaking on display is not as strong as one would expect. The camera work leaves a lot to be desired and so does the acting. The storytelling on display is engaging in bits but the full picture falters badly.
It’s not to say the film is boring. It is far from it. Some of the dialogues are truly inspired and some of the thematic elements will leave the audience with a lot of food for thought. But on the flip side, making the film a brisk 94-minute affair helps it lose a lot from page to screen. The contrived characters, contrived emotions, contrived scenes etc. add to a severe disconnect that one might feel with the story which is unfolding on-screen.
The performances are on par only on a few occasions throughout the film. The motivations of certain characters are exposited to the audience directly. The movie uses the show don’t tell rule sparingly. It leaves one with the feeling that no one in the film is growing organically. The feeling of a certain event happening because the script says so is clear at certain places. On a personal note, the last few dialogues of the film added to the sequence preceding it left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. I could see where the writer/director was coming from but there were many better ways to execute that when compared to what was put to film.
The movie however has a good concept/idea at hand. It is an experiment for the Kannada Film Industry. A sub par execution of an original concept is always better than recycled or hackneyed plots and films. The attempt made here deserves some praise. It would be a good place to start to constructively criticize and support filmmakers with fresh concepts. It is a film which a lot of open floor for discussion in my mind. A watch of the film later, surely every audience member will have his/her opinion and a desire to discuss it.
OVERALL SCORE – 2.25/5