Rakshit Shetty’s Avane Srimannarayana, the Tamil dubbed version of the Kannada film of the same name, is undoubtedly one of the quirkiest mainstream films to have come out in recent years. On paper, it’s the story of a group of people who are at loggerheads over some ancient treasure that has gone missing, but what it achieves cinematically, especially to write, presentation, and cinematography, is commendable as it sets new benchmark for Kannada cinema with respect to aiming big and delivering without inhibitions.
Avane Srimannarayana is undoubtedly one of the quirkiest mainstream films
Avane Srimannarayana is the film where Indiana Jones meets the Spaghetti Western to pave the way for a story with a punchy mythological twist. The story is set in a fantasy land called Amaravathi where, in pursuit of solving the disappearance of some ancient treasure, a quirky cop called Narayana (Rakshit Shetty) has to rub shoulders with and get past the head of a dacoit clan, Jayaram and a local, conniving politician Tukaram. The story follows Narayana’s efforts to find the missing treasure and save the locals from the tyranny of Jayaram.
The film really shines in its writing as it successfully balances a fantasy comedy and a thriller. Rakshit, one of the writers, gives us a story that’s a nod to the Spaghetti Western. However, he sells the idea with a screenplay that keeps us engaged despite the long-running time. The story draws you into a world full of surprises. From cowboys to a bunch of boisterous drama actors and the search for missing treasure. Also, Avane Srimannarayana works because it dares to experiment. However, especially with the fantasy genre which has rarely been explored by southern filmmakers. By the end of the film, you wish it was shorter, but the overall attempt pleasantly surprises you.
Avane Srimannarayana is a bold experiment. If not for the story, the film should keep you engaged with its grand visuals and music. Even though the climax feels slightly long drawn, the film doesn’t disappoint as it reaches its end. Also, and the credit for it must go to the team of writers.