K. Ramnarayan's film stars Prajwal Devraj, Rajshri Ponnappa, Lekha Chandra, Nimika Ratnakar, P. Ravishankar, and others.
Last Updated: 01.52 PM, Nov 18, 2022
Dreaded gangster Vairamudi is attacked by a masked crusader and, as it turns out, the incident has to do with something that occurred 25 years ago. The masked vigilante (Prajwal Devaraj) has not one but three additional shades and looks through which he tries to bamboozle Vairamudi and seek revenge. Can his master ploy succeed against the mighty villain? Or will have fall prey to his own antics?
The 'Reduce-Reuse-Recycle' principle is a valid fit for cinema as well but in the case of certain films, the fourth R of 'Regret' needs to be addended. Prajwal Devaraj's latest outing as a lead actor, Abbara, is one such classic instance of audience members walking out of theatres feeling nothing but regret and baffled at what they just saw. As a relentless assault on the human senses and the concept of 'value for money', Abbara is a kind of film that threatens to derail Kannada Cinema in its current progress and cause serious harm to the standards that some of the more recent films have set.
The word Abbara can be translated from Kannada as a "loud, deep, rumbling sound akin to that of a lion's roar or a large crowd's commotion" Director K. Ramnarayan's film, on the other hand, is screechingly loud and infuriatingly shallow that you can't help but wonder why you took the bait of watching the film in a theatre. Now imagine the plight of someone who has to write a review on top of that.
As far as plots go, Abbara certainly features one but it is apparent that the writers have no clue why it plays out the way it does. A masked man named 'Strong Man' (that's his name, indeed) attacks a noted gangster/future minister Vairamudi and causes a lot of damage to both his reputation and ego. In the same vein, we see that Strong Man has three additional avatars to himself and each one is starkly contrasting with the other - there's the innocent & physically challenged Prasad, the charming artist & painter Jai, and the very easy-going, almost-tapori kind Shankar.
Why go to such manic lengths of creating not one but four different versions of himself, you may ask. Although the makers suggest that since the real reason to attack the villain Vairamudi is to trace his memory back to a ghastly event that took place 25 years ago, in actuality, the plot device makes no sense whatsoever. And to further extend the runtime of the film, the writers also bring in a love interest for each of these avatars.
The narrative is a clumsy one right from the start and never shows any signs of promise in its length of 2 hours and 28 minutes. Prajwal Devaraj, who is certainly deserving and capable of much better ventures, struggles as the lead actor and although he does seem sincere in wanting to do his best, the film's outrageous tone allows him very, very little space. P. Ravi Shankar as the baddie Vairamudi dishes out his most staple and usual performance and one can see that he can almost literally sleep-walk through such roles. To watch him play a character in the same, beaten-to-death manner is exasperating and it begs the question of whether he has anything to offer as an actor apart from his booming voice and tall physical presence. The three actresses, Rajshri Ponnappa, Lekha Chandra, and Nimika Ratnakar have very little bearing on the story and nor do they seem to pack any charm in their stunted appearances.
The audience members are likely to be shocked at learning that Ravi Basrur of Uggramm and KGF 2 has composed the score of Abbara, for it is underwhelming beyond reason. Basrur's work in the film is off-pitch at times and doesn't carry an iota of the quality that some of his other work does.
Abbara can undoubtedly be given a miss at cinema halls, even if you are the most ardent fan of Prajwal Devaraj. It reeks of a lack of both care and effort and is a colossal mess of a film: simply put, it is an excruciating experience at the movies. As someone who walked out of the theatre in a daze of shock, I can promise you that avoiding the film will save a whole lot of your precious time and money. Thank me later.