This one is a done-to-death tale of star-crossed lovers, featuring a bunch of newbie actors.
Last Updated: 10.16 AM, Nov 19, 2022
Story: College mates Surya (Vishwa) and Bhoomi (Leonilla Shwetha D’Souza) are a much-in-love pair. At the end of their course, she heads home, hoping to return with her dad and formalize her relationship with Surya. But then, the bus Surya sent her home on, meets with a devastating accident, killing several onboard. Bhoomi is also presumed dead, sending Surya into self-destruction mode. When he finally picks up the pieces of his life and returns to some form of normalcy, Bhoomi ‘returns from the dead’. Is there a happily-ever-after on the horizon for the duo?
Review: Stories about star-crossed lovers have made their way to the big screen from time immemorial. The premise is terribly stale, yet director Santhosh Srikantappa believes it was worth the effort to use this done-to-death template to present a tragic love story called Khasagi Putagalu.
The film’s got a bunch of newcomers in the lead. Half of the narrative is set in present day, where Surya, a photographer-for-hire, is still mourning the loss of the love of his life, Bhoomi. His college mate Saleem (Shridhar Gangavathi) is now a Ganesha idol artiste, while the rest of the four-member gang has moved on to greener pastures. The other half of the film is the flashback love story, Surya and gang’s friendship and a side-track of the guest lecturer with a particular dislike for back-benchers that stems from personal experiences back when she was in college. This serves as the set-up for an action sequence and has no other bearing on the overall narrative. It’s almost as if Santhosh had a list of commercial film pre-requisites and then randomly put them together, including a creepy villain.
The circumstances that drive these two lovers apart also feel forced. Surya presumes Bhoomi dead in a bus accident, after finding a broken piece of a memorabilia he had given her moments ago. Her death is not reported in the media, the college has no condolence meet and no one else seems to have heard about her untimely passing or is even talking about it. Hell, Surya doesn’t think it necessary to offer his condolences and support to her ‘grieving’ father.
Meanwhile, unaware of this development, Bhoomi is stuck caring for her father, who has suffered a heart attack. By the time she is able to return to find Surya, he has left his ancestral home behind – a place he holds dear - and moved to Mudigere. This was apparently at a time before mobile phones when telephone booths were still a thing. This can only mean that it was also a time when people still used to write to each other. Snail mail, anyone? Apparently, Surya and Bhoomi did not even exchange addresses. Didn’t all students back then have a slam book with good-bye messages from classmates, which included postal addresses and (nearest) telephone numbers?
Even if you were to buy into this separation, Santhosh’s narrative has yet another spanner in the works. When Saleem stumbles upon Bhoomi in Shivamogga, instead of taking Surya’s number from him, she entrusts him with the job of conveying the news that she’s still alive. This, even though, she knows from experience that Saleem tends to forget passing on messages. To make sure Saleem’s on the job, she has his number, but, of course, her calls go unanswered because he doesn’t make it. It is so ridiculous that I found myself fighting back a chuckle or two during scenes meant to make you feel sorry for the duo. This constant dumbing down of audiences was, frankly, quite annoying. And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, Vasuki Vaibhav’s music doesn’t help matters either. There is a mix of interesting tunes, but they are not particularly memorable.
Verdict: Khasagi Putagalu had a 4 pm show at the nearest multiplex; where I was one of five in attendance. The others were two couples, who, I assume, were there either looking for privacy in a near-empty movie hall or because they knew someone from the team of the film and felt obligated to be there. I was there on work. If you have no such obligation, well, you can skip this one!