Film: 'Junglee'; Director: Soori; Cast: Vijay, Andrita Ray, Rangayana Raghu, Aadi Lokesh, Suresh Chandra, and Sanketh Kashi; Music: Hari Krishna; Rating: **
Popular stars and top technicians have come together for director Soori's much-hyped movie 'Junglee'. Many thought that the film, which boasts of many chartbusters, could turn around the fortunes of the Kannada film industry, but it has failed to live up to its expectations.
'Junglee', unlike Soori's previous film 'Duniya', is good only in patches. Soori has failed to do complete justice to the movie despite great work from cinematographer Sathya Hegde and music director Hari Krishna.
Soori showed his class and craftsmanship in his debut film 'Duniya' where he had authentically depicted the brutal world of small-time gangsters. Soori had shown a world of misery and despair, which was relatively unknown to the outside world. His second film 'Inthi Ninna Preethiya' showed the tragic life of a compulsive alcoholic who drives his life to despair and leads his family to ruin.
'Junglee' could have been a better film had there been more focus on presenting it in a realistic manner. The romantic sequences featuring the lead actors could have been shown in a more mature and subtle way too.
The so-called comedy sequences featuring Rangayana Raghu and Vijay become irritating after a few scenes. Some of the dialogues are also in poor taste.
But 'Junglee' has its good moments like the song picturisations. Vijay and Andrita Ray share a good chemistry on screen, which makes the songs even more likeable.
Vijay plays the role of Junglee Shivalingu or Junglee Prabhakar, who aspires to become a villain in the film industry. He is in love with Padma, a college girl. But Padma does not reciprocate his feelings.
Junglee later meets Gudde Narasimha, who surprisingly has a lavish lifestyle despite not having a great job. Gudde takes Junglee to a city don called Guruswamy who has connections in the film industry. Junglee saves Guruswamy when he is attacked by his rivals. But in this battle Padma's father gets killed and an enraged Junglee kills the people responsible for the death.
Hari Krishna's music is the film's highlight. Yogaraj Bhat and Jayanth Kaikini have written wonderful lyrics. 'Hale Paathre Hale Kabbna', 'Powder Haakkolo' and 'Neenendare Nannolage' are the three songs that have gone on to become chartbusters. Sathya Hegde has done exceptional work behind the camera.
On the whole, 'Junglee' is a mixed bag with lots of ups and downs.