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'Violent yet different' would be a suitable short description for Maadesha, Shivaraj Kumar's latest film which released with an 'A' certificate from the Censor Board. Ravi Srivatsa, the controversial director of Kannada, who always had trouble with the Censor Board right from his first movie Deadly Soma, has made a film in which the hero not only attacks the villains but the entire social system in which we live. Never before has a film of Shivaraj Kumar been this violent, both in action and in dialogues. Backed by splendid camera work, the film stands above the average don movie and it tells the story of Maadesha, an ordinary boy who becomes a mafia king.
Maadesha (Shivaraj Kumar) lives in the small temple town of Nanjangud with his family. His life, revolving around the temple activities and pet elephant Ganesha, is calm and quiet. But, in a gruesome act of fate, he kills a street vendor who abuses his mother and Maadesha's whole world comes tumbling down. Having been branded with the name criminal, he is sent to a juvenile home.
After14 years of imprisonment, Maadesha emerges from the juvenile home as a strong man whose mind is hardened by the rough life inside the jail. He decides that Bangalore is the best place for him. A petrol bunk owner, Sircar (Ravi Belegere), takes him into his protection. Being the right hand of Sircar, Maadesha is asked to do several ghastly activities, including the elimination of Khan, a mafia king. Khan is killed and Sircar protects Maadesha from the law, but Maadesha starts making his own decisions ignoring the instructions of his boss and thus irritating him. Although a killer, he targets only the bad men in society. When Maadesha's activities get out of the hand, Sircar seeks the help of the Home Minister in capturing him and an efficient police officer (Ravi Kale) arrives on the scene. Now, Maadesha finds himself all alone. He is wanted by the police, mafia and his mentor alike.
While the police get themselves busy in getting an arrest warrant against him, Maadesha escapes to Australia and from there, he announces that he is ready to surrender. To know the rest of the story, you have to wait till Maadesha Part-2 is released.
It is obvious that the female audience will be disappointed to find Shivaraj Kumar doing horrific crimes, but then, the film is made targeting only that section of viewers which loves action. By the term violence, if you expect just shootouts, then beware, there is more to it than you think. The scenes of killing by slashing the neck with a long knife and using a hammer are capable of giving a chill even to the strong-minded.
In the acting department, Shivaraj Kumar gives his heart and soul to Maadesha. Sonu Bhatia is wasted in the role, but Ravi Belegere, Vijayasarathy and Ravi Kale have come out with superb performances. Padmaja Rao is apt in the role of the mother.
There are two beautiful songs scored by Mano Murthy which stand out as a relief among all the action and violence. The film is a fine example of excellent editing and camera work by G.S.V. Sitharam is superb.
Maadesha yet again proves that Ravi Srivatsa loves courting controversy. So let us wait till Maadesha Part 2 releases to see what happens to Maadesha.
Producer: Govardhana Murthy
Director: Ravi Srivatsa
Cast: Shivrajkumar, Ravi Belegere, Ravi Kale, Sonu Bhatia, Ramesh Pandit, Padmaja Rao
Music director: Mano Murthy
Cinematography: G.S.V. Sitharam