Verdict: Kavaludaari accomplishes to solve its puzzle with a concoction of a retro and contemporary look.

Andhadun screenwriter Hemanth Rao proves to be a brilliant catch when directing the investigative noir Kavaludaari that is both complicated and engaging. In collaboration with producer Ashwini Puneeth, the essence of two periods in the history of India are captured and implemented to tell the story. With the enthralling music by Charan Raj, the story is put into motion. The commendable cast, which includes Rishi, Anant Nag, Achyuth Kumar, Roshni Prakash, and Suman Ranganathan, sets the plot on fire and entrenches the quality of the narration.

WHAT’S KAVALUDAARI ABOUT:

Kavaludaari, which literally means crossroads, is the tale of when the roads of the past and the present cross each other abruptly. The film is a murder mystery set in the 1970s (the Emergency period) that transits unpredictably to the present time where the remains of the bodies are discovered and the case is opened again. A traffic cop named Shyam (Rishi), who is aspiring to join the crime branch, sails beyond the case, while fixing the dismantled pieces of the story towards his quest of the truth. In this journey, he gets acquainted with a journalist Kumar (Achyuth Kumar) who is in search of a headline and acts as a link between the mishaps. The story knits the retro and contemporary setting with a narration of the past and the present, sporadically. The cop’s curiosity steers him to all the documents with written statements of the people associated with the case. On this progressive path, he learns that an officer named Muttanna (Anant Nag) was involved in the case earlier. He crosses paths with him in need of information but Muttanna wants to keep the past buried under the injuries that cost his family’s lives. Somehow, Shyam manages to convince him and together, they hunt for the murderer to solve the unsolved puzzle and take the curtains off all the lies. In the excavation, they realize a thread connected between the finished and the unfinished situations and the people associated with it. Would harsh truths and the uneasy reality guide them to the murderer? The suspense lies somewhere in there and makes the story phenomenal.

WHAT WORKS:

The music has majestically set the tone of the context and the act. Charan Raj has used an Indo-western music to set a trend in Kannada movies. The cinematographer also experiments with the imagination play that is thrilling to watch and helps the audience to relate with the characters. Hemanth Rao’s movie does not have any unwanted actions but a simple plot that executes the story with its neat ending.

WHAT COULD’VE BEEN BETTER:

The plot pins the blame on one character after another, leaving the audience confused for most parts. Hence, viewers must concentrate and sit through the movie to learn the ending. The comic scenes are light weighed and do not afford to bring any comic relief. The movie could have triumphed had the plot not crawled and dragged throughout the investigation scenes.

WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH:

The movie showcases the present Karnataka and the effect of the Emergency period on politics and regular people’s lives. The movie sardonically portrays the working of politics and its fallacy. Moreover, it is a suspense thriller that the audience can hold their seats to spectate an emerging story that unfolds the mystery with a justified conclusion.

By Anagha Nair