Film: 'Mathadu Mathadu Mallige'; Cast: Vishnuvardhan, Suhasini Mani Ratnam, Sudeep and others; Director: Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar; Producer: K. Manju; Music: Mano Murthy
'Mathadu Mathadu Mallige' comes as a surprise offering from a mainstream filmmaker like Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar. The film about a Nandigram, a special economic zone (SEZ), in Karnataka is the director's fervent plea against what he considers reckless globalisation.
It revolves around a progressive farmer, Hoovaiah, who refuses to part with his land for a multinational company, which has obtained a leasing licence from the government by bribing a corrupt minister and his cronies.
Despite being alone in his fight with the establishment, Hoovaiah never lose hope and carries on his one-man battle against the powerful nexus between the government and the corporate.
Finally, he wins the battle by adopting Gandhian means of non-violent struggle. In the process, he converts a group of Maoists and inspires them to undertake a peaceful mass movement.
Veteran star Vishnuvardhan delivers one of the best performances of his career as Hoovaiah. Suhasini Mani Ratnam, who has acted in many films with Vishnu, proves her histrionic mettle once again.
Sudeep makes a brief appearance in the second half of the film as a Maoist and deserves kudos for his emoting.
Mano Murthy's has composed brilliant songs and the background score is a classic work. 'Banna bannada' and 'Namma mane aramane' are bound to become hit songs.
'Mathadu Maathadu Mallige' is certainly one of the best Kannada films released in the recent past.