Slum Baala Kannada Movie ReviewFeature Film
As claimed by the makers, Slum Bala reveals the ugly and nauseating nexus between the police, politicians and underworld. The movie is based on Agni Sreedhar's book Dadagiriya Dinagalu who had earlier made Aa Dinagalu.
Revolving around a wicked politician Prasad Nayak (B Suresh) who wants to win the election at any cost and a scheming inspector-cum-broker Shantharam (Shashi Kumar) whose barbarity is spine-chilling and can put to shame any criminal, it explores the life of a sentimental slum dweller Bala (Vijay) who climbs the higher echelons of the underworld under their protege. Success doesn't elude daring slum Bala. With a high profile murder his credentials in the underworld zoom to zenith. He also has the lady in his life Mallige (Shobha Poonja) whom he met during his brief stay in Mumbai. But he decides to revolt against his masters over their crookedness and tries to be the master himself. But not until the same people decide to call the shots for the day. What follows is a bloody betrayal.
Debuting director Sumana has done a neat job. Though the second half loses the pace, a brilliant performance by all the actors diminishes the effect. The emotions of the protagonist has been showcased well and so is the harsh realities he lives in. Though the humour is sporadic it doesn't go unnoticed. What haunts is the depiction of the continuance of the corrupt system. The two songs are meaningful and dialogues aptly summarise the theme.
Developed on a subplot of Agni Sridhar's Dadagiriya Aa Dinagalu, Slum Bala attempts to provide an insightful account of the nexus between politicians and the police, and the exploitation of slum youths who indulge in murky activities for "big" people's political and business gains.
The film explores the ruthless faces of politics, deceptive games of the police, strength and weaknesses of the underworld.
It also attempts to trace the emotional pangs and the attitude of underworld dons towards life. An observation made by a "double standard" police official Shanth Kumar (Shashikumar) to the effect that "politics and underworld make people change themselves instantly" holds the key to the narrative.
Intelligent screenplay and incisive dialogues punctuated with ironies and humour by Agni Sridhar stand out. On the other hand, a realistic and lucid narrative mode helps the director Sumana Kittor in capturing the emotional and political realities of complex human relationships. References to what is said to be some true-to-life incidents and comments on them give credence to the theme.
However, it is Sumana's ability to juxtapose scenes and under play violence besides controlled handling of high voltage emotions, politically sensitive and subtle situations and the innate tragic undertone of the plot help the film transcend the routine crime oriented ones.
The plot is all about the tragic and debatable growth and the fall of a ruthless rowdy-sheeter Slum Bala (Vijay), and his trusted and devoted relationship with Shanth Kumar and an ambitious politician Naik (Suresh), who is a close friend of the police officer and is keen on winning the election.
Vijay had shown his acting prowess in Duniya and won a state award for his performance. Slum Bala will go down as one more memorable film in his career. Shubha Poonja has excelled in her role as a live band singer. Aswath, B.Suresha, Umashri, Shashi Kumar, Sathya have acquitted very well in their respective roles.
Music director Arjun has done remarkable job in his two song compositions and back ground score. Mahendar's camera work suits adequately to the subject.
Slum Bala has lots and lots of artistic values, but the film can be equally liked by the family audience. A remarkable film indeed.
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