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Rip-roaring comedy from Dhananjaya’s stable

Tagaru Palya★★★★☆4/5Director:Umesh K KrupaCast:Amrutha Prem Nagabhushana Rangayana Raghu Tara Vasuki Vaibhav

Animal sacrifice is a deep-rooted custom in our villages. In some parts of Karnataka, people believe it pacifies the female deity who protects them and their village. The sacrifice can’t proceed unless the animal shakes its head as a sign of approval. This is where ‘Tagaru Palya’ begins. It is a burlesque tale of harsh rural realities, set in the Mandya region.

The title translates to (ram) mutton curry. A father’s (Rangayana Raghu) desperate attempt to get his daughter (Amrutha Prem) married to a city-bred boy forms the crux of the story. All the villagers gather for a sacrifice followed by baadoota, a non-vegetarian feast. The boy’s side arrives from Bengaluru. They come with a superiority complex and look down upon the villagers. The film then explores the tension and humour during the ritual.

The comedy is loud but keeps one enthralled throughout. Extra marks to Vasuki Vaibhav for playing a city IT boy — although exaggerated, it sends you on an unapologetic laughing riot. Sharath Lohitashwa doesn’t fail to impress in his cameo. Ravi Hunsur as the priest delivers a fine performance. The industry must make full use of him. He was last seen in ‘Orchestra Mysuru’.

The couple in special appearance (Poornachandra Mysore and Yasha Shivkumar) outperform the lead couple (Nagabhushana N S and Amrutha Prem). With lyrics by Dhananjaya K A (also the producer) and music by Vasuki Vaibhav, the songs are peppy and add to the merriment. The entire film is set beside the picturesque Bharachukki waterfalls. The wide angle and top drone shots are a treat on the big screen. The Mandya slang is the icing on the cake, making the film a wholesome entertainer.

On the downside, the film could have been a little subtle in the portrayal of the groom’s mother (Chitra Shenoy) — the characterisation seems unnecessarily harsh.

‘Tagaru Palya’ is genuine and relevant to present-day India. Rangayana Raghu’s heart-wrenching monologue is an eye-opener to how villages are slowly emptying out. When the elders lose hope about life in the villages, the death of villages doesn’t seem far. Written and directed by Umesh K Krupa, this debut definitely deserves a watch.

(Published 27 October 2023, 21:30 IST)

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