Thursday, January 19, 2006

Excuse Me (2004)

Featuring: Sunil Raoh, Ajay , Ramya, Sumalata, Ramesh Bhatt.
Directed by : Prem

This review is surely coming in way later than the actual release of this movie. I downloaded it from KT a couple of days ago and so felt the need to share my 2 cents with the rest of KT.I have always been a great admirer of good cinema. Though my primary interest has not been post 1990 Kannada cinema, I have many favorites in Kannada. Something which is thought provoking and "in the face" theme-based that you cannot help but admire. Some names that stand out from the recent past are “Apthamitra” , "Matadana", "Rakthakaneeru" etc. When I saw many encouraging reviews of the movie “Excuse Me” I wanted to see it too since it sounded like a great movie to watch.I could not have been more wrong! Reviews in other places on the net suggest that this movie was a commercial success. I fail to see how that can be given that people from Karnataka are one of the finest people I have known. If they chose this movie as a good one, then I am missing something here.Regardless, here is the storyline as I understood it.

2 young lads (not more than 12-14), both from rural areas of Karnataka, and extremely loud and foul mouthed for someone their age and pretty violent as well. There is Sunil (Sunil Raoh) who is shown as a very competitive person who believes in the expression “The end justifies means.” And then there is Ajay (same name) who is shown as an understanding, caring and warm hearted person with a passion for music. Quite frankly, the first 25 minutes of the movie is the only portion that makes any logical sense in terms of execution.They get shipped off to the city (read Bangalore) to live with a relative where they grow up to be the exact same people they were in the village. While Sunil is chasing random girls in public singing “Roadige Iliye Radhika” Ajay is busy playing the violin in duo with a blind beggar’s flute. Enter Madhu (Ramya) who is introduced as someone who has the same passion for music as Ajay. Despite their best (?) attempts they keep missing out on meeting each other.

Of course, love blossoms before you have completed trying to figure out why they keep using the expression “love maadodhu” a billion times when the theme is pretty clear.Everything builds up into one major chaos with no effort into the performances at all except for poor Sunil Raoh who goes crazy with his “mad/obsessed man/lover” act towards the end. The woman whom he cheated into getting engaged with is dumb as a doorknob without so much as asking him "Why?".It is then that you suddenly realize you have wasted 3 good hours of your life.The son-mother bond of Ajay and Sumalata is never really explored considering that was all that got highlighted initially in the movie. They even had a song for it – “Brahma Vishnu Shiva”.

Overdose of choreography based songs every 20 minutes puts a spanner in the happenings. The editor was clearly dozing off since the work looks pretty amateurish. The camera work is decent enough although there are not many close up shots of the lead actors. Everyone is loud in this movie including the pigeons. Love loses its meaning once it is made to look like something young college kids have to do else they are thought of as losers.Kannada movies that are targetted towards the young generation somehow end up being "below the belt" affairs with nothing new or novel to offer. Loud performances and hard to believe attitudes of both men and women make it a joke. "Excuse Me" is no exception to that pattern.I have known of director Prem only after his latest movie “Jogi”. I sincerely hope he made a better attempt at that without making it another loud and meaningless affair.

ShaKri rates this movie 1.5 out of 5

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