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Poor execution and underwhelming performances

13 Part-12023★★☆☆☆2.5/5Director:K Narendra BabuCast:Raghavendra Rajkumar, Shruthi, Pramod Shetty and Dilip Pai

13 Part-1’ primarily focuses on an inter-religious couple — Mohan Kumar (Raghavendra Rajkumar) and Sahira Banu (Shurthi) — leading a simple yet blissful life. Things turn murky when a crime operation goes wrong and the couple comes into possession of a fortune of Rs 13 crore — hence the striking title.

An initially reluctant Mohan finally decides to protect the fortune at his wife’s insistence. However, he has to deal with a notorious criminal and a dirty cop Sawant Kumar (Pramod Shetty), who use all their might to seek the money. A rivalry between Mohan and Sawant, dating back to the former’s days as a cop, only makes things spicier.

The presence of an all-powerful hero, who outsmarts bad cops with ingenious tricks, strikes an unmistakable resemblance to the ‘Drishyam’ series. However, the similarities end there as the plot suffers from numerous loopholes. What makes Sawant suspect the lead couple remains a mystery till the end. What makes the righteous hero desperately fight for an illegitimate fortune is also unclear.

While the film seeks to further communal harmony by depicting a couple whose faith does not come in the way of their love, the exaggerated use of derogatory stereotypes of the Kannada dialect of Muslims only deters the cause.

Raghavendra Rajkumar plays the loving husband well but fails todeliver as a cool-headed strategist. Shruthi is expressive but her dialect, a conscious choice by the director, scales down her act a bit. With his eerie laughter and threatening looks, Pramod Shetty delivers a complete performance.

(Published 15 September 2023, 21:10 IST)

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