08 July 2014

Oggarane misses an opportunity

Oggarane is a step above the usual Kannada movie fare, but I would stop short of calling it unusual. It did have the potential to be better than it is, though.

It starts to be a movie on mature love, but mid-way it can’t resist the temptation of mixing it up with the song-and-dance routine that must accompany young love on screen. The use of the food motif, too, could have been carried throughout.

What irritated me were the different ways in which the significance of marriage is portrayed for the leading man (Prakash Raj) and woman (Sneha Prasanna). For the man, it is a simple need for companionship but for the woman it is loaded with vulnerability. For God’s sake, man, when will we get rid of this clich├ęd crying of the lone, unmarried woman? Do people who write up these storylines even know that the majority of women in India are actually breadwinners in their family? And, I am not even talking of white-collared professionals, but the women that you see at construction sites, in the fields, and on the roadside. The husbands of most of these women have either abandoned them or spend their days in a drunken, wife-beating haze.

As a cub journalist, I once came across a village in rural Bangalore district, where I met so many abandoned women that I was tempted to give a hackneyed title to the story such as ‘The village of abandoned women’.
And, that’s for the utterly poor.

Then, there are the self-supporting professional women of the middle class who are in a discreet way made to feel inferior to their married peers, in spite of being achievers in their work lives and leading fulfilling personal lives. Is marriage the way to nirvana for women, while just being an emotional option to the man? Sheer nonsense. Most of us do feel the need for companionship at some point in life, but everyone need not and does not seek it out in the same way.

The other WTF moment was when the caricatured gay character in the movie tells the leading lady that she must act decisively and not miss an opportunity to land Rai. He hints that he’s still single because God erred in deciding his fate (that is, his being gay is a mistake). At this point, I began to doubt if the people who made this movie live in this real world. If the director frowns upon homosexuality, why even have a gay character in the movie? Just for a few laughs? How is that even fair?

What has stayed with me from the movie is the below song by my favourite singer, Kailash Kher, and the fact that product placement has firmly made its way to Kannada movies. Otherwise, it’s an easily forgettable flick.

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