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Hadinelentu movie review: Two teenagers, a viral sex video and a classy portrayal of the aftermath

Hadinelentu movie review: When a moment of passion between two teenagers snowballs into a conflict of gender, caste and class

Hadinelentu movie review: Two teenagers, a viral sex video and a classy portrayal of the aftermath
A still from Hadinelentu

Last Updated: 12.26 PM, Jan 25, 2024


Hadinelentu story: Two PU (Class 12), Hari (Neeraj Mathew) and Deepa (Sherlyn Bhosale) have sex in an empty classroom and film it. What was meant to be a private moment that they wanted to memorialize for themselves, is leaked and goes viral in no time. When it is brought to the notice of college authorities and the families of both the students are involved, what starts as a matter about the disciplinary action to be taken against the youngsters, snowballs into issues of caste, socio-economic standing and more.

Hadinelentu review: In the hands of a ‘mainstream’ filmmaker, a story like the one that Prithvi Konanur presents in Hadinelentu, would have likely been about titillating audiences with the primary subject – a sex tape made by two teenagers. Prithvi, though, is more interested in the by-products of this act – gender disparity, casteism and classism – all of which makes Hadinelentu a riveting watch from start to finish.


At the centre of the tale are the two teenagers, portrayed brilliantly by Sherlyn Bhosale and Neeraj Mathew, whose young love isn’t just about raging hormones. But when their moment of passion threatens their future, with Deepa standing to lose more than Hari, a struggle for survival ensues. From a ‘they should have known better than do something like this’ situation, to ‘he’s a good boy, but she’s a troublemaker’, a disciplinary committee with only one OBC member, and, an age of consent issue – Prithvi presents a new twist every few minutes.

A still from the film
A still from the film

It would be impossible to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible if we delve into any further details of the subject. Suffice to say that Hadinelentu is a well-written and brilliantly executed film within Prithvi’s limited means. As important as the story-telling is in the film, also are the actors who bring it alive. Prithvi’s cast has only a couple of known names, including Rekha Kudligi, Sudha Belawadi, Bhavani Prakash.

The writing of Rekha’s character, the vice-principal of the college, who is at the forefront of the anti-Deepa brigade, and uses the situation to further her career ambition, only to later realize that the Principal’s chair means being a pawn in the hands of the ‘Board’, who then tries to right some of her wrongs is brilliant and so is her handling of the role.


I have said it before and I still maintain that Sudha Belawadi is one of the best onscreen mothers in Kannada cinema. There’s something about her demeanour and intonation in speech that makes her believable as anyone’s mom. Prithvi’s only misstep, perhaps, was in getting Pinki Elli’s Gunjalamma to play Deepa’s mother. I get that Prithvi wanted to reinforce the socio-economic background Deepa hails from, but there are sequences involving the mother’s character that would have greatly benefited from a more seasoned actor.

Hadinelentu verdict: It is no surprise that Kannada filmmaker Prithvi Konanur’s Hadinelentu was widely lauded at all the film festivals it has been so far. The unfortunate fallout of this is that most audiences have a pre-set notion about festival films – slow, boring and meant for ‘niche’ audiences only – which is not exactly the case with Hadinelentu. This is a film that deserves a bigger audience, even though it is only releasing in a handful of halls on January 26. 

PS: Prithvi has a surprise for audiences right at the end!

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