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REVIEW: IKKAT (Kannada)

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Producers-Tara and Ayesha Khan

Directors-Esham and Haseen Khan

Star Cast-Nagbhushana, Bhoomi Shetty, Murthy, Vicki , Naveen Chethana, Anand Ninasam and Murthy

Genre- Comedy

OTT Platform- Amazon Prime Video

A whiff of fragrance!

Rating- ***1/2

Jyothi Venkatesh

I think that Ikkat, which means congested in Kannada, is probably one of the very few films in Kannada to have been made with the backdrop of the post COVID world.

The film is directed by Esham and Haseen Khan, who have proven themselves with their first web series Loose Connection.

This comedy set against the backdrop of the lockdown is their maiden feature film and it is quite a hilarious treat, especially after watching some serious strife ridden films in Telugu and Tamil on Amazon Prime Video in recent times.

This latest OTT offering from Kannada cinema, is set during the first lockdown period, and takes us through the life and times of Vasu (Nagabhushana) and Janavi (Bhoomi Shetty).

The married couple, who are on the verge of finalizing their divorce, are forced to stay together a bit longer due to the sudden announcement of the 21-day lockdown.

We then see how this forced union, peppered with random appearances from uninvited guests, changes the lives of this unassuming middle-class couple.

Vasu is married to Janvi, a closet TikTok star who lives her life vicariously on the social media app.

They have a big fight just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announces the lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID.

Each is forced to live with their bickering significant other. To add to their woes, they also are almost forced to have two unusual house guests too. The comedy of errors that follows makes this quirky and complex tale a hilarious ride too.

It is a zany film which deals with a wife and her lover who are also locked in with the couple in the tiny two-bedroom apartment in Bangalore.

Will the couple reignite their romance? Or will the boyfriend’s presence be discovered?. To add to their woes, they are disturbed every once in a while by their peeping ton neighbor Murthy (Anand Ninasam) who does not at all shy away from begging for cigarette or coffee, besides whiskey from them

What I liked about this Kannada film is the fact that it has been made modestly in just one single location that too in a middle class flat and yet it does manage to a great extent ,keeps one entertained almost throughout the entire length and breadth of the film.

A global pandemic and the prime minister’s decision to enforce a 21-day nationwide lockdown jolt both of them.

Their worst nightmare of spending every minute together comes true. From this point, the film is mostly an uproariously funny ride and the film is all about how in the curse of the lockdown they are forced to change their opinion about themselves.

Nagabhushana and Bhoomi deserve credit for delivering natural performances and succeed in carting the film on their slender shoulders; I also wonder how both these debut actors understood the crux of the characters to give us impressive as well as convincing portrayals.

However, the same can’t be said about actors Veena Sundar and RJ Vikki who both tend to go a bit overboard, as actors.

Nagabhushana pulls off a brilliant comical act with a great mix of expressions and dialogue delivery.Nagabhushana is excellent as the protagonist while Bhoomi Shetty is brilliant considering that it is actually her debut as an actress.

Three cheers to the Khan Brothers – Esham and Hseen Khan, who have conceptualized, written, directed and produced the simple film, which comes as a whiff of fragrance, at a time like lockdown when we are bogged by the eerie presence of Covid 19 amidst us.