Blending magic and comedy, the filmmaker ensures there’s never a dull moment in the film
Last Updated: 02.46 AM, May 06, 2022
Story: Ayurveda exponent Rama Jois (Saikumar) and his wife Susheela (Bhavya), lose their only son Karna, when he goes missing while on a trip to a temple festival with his aunt Yashoda (Sudharani). The guilt of having lost her nephew has been eating away at Yashoda, so when she finally opens up to her daughter Siri (Ashika Ranganath) about the circumstances that brought about a split between her and her brother, the latter decides that she will mend the brother-sister relationship by giving them Karna. Her plan is to get someone to pretend to not only be the couple’s long-lost son, but also convincingly so.
Enter Anila (Sharan), a junior cine artiste that Siri finds suitable for the task. Seeing Anila is all that Susheela needs to be convinced her son is back, but Rama Jois isn’t on board the idea and that forms the backdrop of the twist in the tale.
Review: There’s an interesting mix of story-telling at play in director Suni’s Avatara Purusha – part 1. There’s the drama surrounding the elderly couple Rama Jois and Susheela, who are still pining for their son Karna and clinging on to hope that he will return to them some day. But more important is the Jois family’s connection to the world of magic and witchcraft from the time of Rama Jois’ father, Brahma Jois (Ayyappa P Sharma).
The Jois family is the key to attaining the powerful Trishanku stone/bead, which has been a bone of contention between two wizard factions for years. This is actually the main plot of Avatara Purusha – part 1, with Suni using the other arcs to introduce all the players who will eventually be involved in the battle for Trishanku, like, for instance, Dharka (Ashutosh Rana), Hinnudi (Balaji Manohar), Kumara (Srinagara Kitty), among others.
Suni’s writing has always been the backbone of his films and he delivers yet again with Avatara Purusha, weaving together a thriller story about black magic within the comedy genre. Prior to watching the film, I had asked leading man Sharan about the film’s dark and heavy subject - black magic – and presenting it with humour, without making a mockery of it. The actor had vouched for Suni’s brilliant writing in ensuring the magic elements do not come across like a spoof and I admit, Sharan was right.
The twist at the end of part 1 will make way for more magic and witchcraft to play out in part 2, so it remains to be seen how Suni maintains this balance. The filmmaker has, apparently shot most of the second instalment and if it is anything like the first, he has another winner in hand. The good story apart, Suni’s victory is also in his choice of star cast. Sharan is, undoubtedly, the star of the film, but actors like Saikumar, Balaji Manohar, Ashutosh Rana and Srinagara Kitty lend immense gravitas to the narrative. And most of them, especially Saikumar and Kitty, will have extended roles in part 2 apparently, so that will be interesting.
Ashika Ranganath’s pairing with Sharan is just right for this film and the actors are totally in sync with each other. Sudharani and Bhavya have limited screen time, but make sure those scenes remain with audiences. Writing a few words of praise for DOP William David’s camera work would be disservice to the man. You’ve got to see and experience it. Same is the case with Arjun Janya’s music and background score, which absolutely elevate the cinematic experience. Kudos also to Bhushan master for the choreography putting Sharan through his paces.
Avatara Purusha part 1 is only 128 minutes long and packs in a lot of story-telling and four songs too, and yet there are a couple of sequences involving Sadhu Kokila that don’t appear to have any bearing on the main plot – or does it? Guess we’ll know when part 2 releases.
Verdict: It’s always a pleasure when a film entertains you from start to end. Thank you, team Avatara Purusha (part 1). Keep up the good work. Can’t wait for part 2!