Mumbai, 29 Sep 2018 19:00 IST
Effective use of humour, drama and music makes Ondalla Eradalla an amusing watch.
Director D Satya Prakash presents a humour-laden, child-friendly tale of a little boy Sameera and his friend. Multiple characters flying in and out of the narrative could have made Ondalla Eradalla (Not One Or Two) a hotchpotch, but the director smartly ties up the loose ends to give the viewer a fulfilling experience.
Sameera (Master Rohith) is a brat whose innocence takes him on a journey through a town in Karnataka in search of his missing friend and playmate — a cow named Bhanu. As his family members and neighbours go looking for him, many characters are revealed to them and Sameera on the streets.
The director tries hard to mask his attempt at making a comment on national integration, but that hardly works. Sameera’s character is Muslim, the moneylender is a Hindu, and the man grieving for his lost son is a Christian called David. Caricatures can hurt a film, but the director uses dialogue and music effectively to hide these.
During a game of hide-and-seek, Sameera hides Bhanu in an empty autorickshaw. She is accidentally taken hostage by a man called Rafeeq who drives away with the vehicle. Unable to accept that Bhanu is not with him, Sameera sets out to find his pet friend, armed with a sketch his sister has made of Bhanu. She is also fond of the cow.
On his quest, Sameera meets several persons who try to exploit him for personal gain. Suresha, a crook who owes money to a lender, even uses Sameera as bait to dodge the lender, passing him off as his son. In another incident, Sameera is involved in an election rally, dressed as a calf, the party’s symbol. An elaborate chase scene with the mascot of another party, Huli (Tiger), is shot well in a town settlement.
All through this, the only thing that remains constant is Sameera’s innocence and purity of intention to find Bhanu. He is oblivious to the pain of his family, and naively trusts anybody who says they can bring Bhanu back. As they realize Sameera’s love for Bhanu, all these characters join in his quest.
Extended comical chases are the hallmark of Ondalla Eradalla. No, we are not complaining, but sometimes it feels like they drag the film. The entertainment value of the chases is not questionable, though, at any point.
Master Rohith delivers an endearing performance as a child in an adult’s world. His eyes are full of wonder and feet nimble. His one-track goal to share a moment with Bhanu again makes him an adorable protagonist. The viewer roots for him, even as some of the twists seem like convenient additions just for entertainment and no real reason.
The characters of Rajanna, Sameera’s father, and his grandfather and sister are quite comfortable in their skins. David’s character is over-the-top and quite annoying despite his grief for a lost child.
The title, meaning not one or two, refers to the many incidents and people Sameera comes across while looking for Bhanu.
Effective use of humour, drama and music makes Ondalla Eradalla an amusing watch. Rarely can films with child protagonists entertain children, and Ondalla Eradalla is one of them.
Ondalla Eradalla was screened at the 9th Jagran Film Festival on 28 September 2018.
Related topicsJagran Film Festival
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