‘Moorane Krishnappa’ movie review: A fantastic rural comedy with Rangayana Raghu and Sampath Maitreya in great form

Sampath Maitreya (left) and Rangayana Raghu shine in ‘Moorane Krishnappa’
| Photo Credit: Anand Audio/YouTube

Comedic films can often fall flat or be misjudged, with on-screen performances entertaining the cast more than the audience. In contrast, Naveen Narayanaghatta’s Moorane Krishnappa is a delightful exception, offering an engaging and relatable brand of humor powered by a well-crafted script and actors who naturally deliver comedic gems. This film marks a refreshing departure from the typical rural narratives in the Kannada film landscape.

The story unfolds in a hamlet near Anekal taluk, where the local gram panchayat president, Veeranna (Rangayana Raghu), is up for re-election. His strategy to secure votes involves inviting a celebrity to launch a newly-erected temple. However, Veeranna’s plans take an unexpected turn when the anticipated comedian guest passes away unexpectedly.

Moorane Krishnappa (Kannada)

Director: Naveen Narayanaghatta

Cast: Rangayana Raghu, Sampath Maitreya, Tukali Santhosh, Sripriya, Uggram Manju

Runtime: 140 minutes

Storyline: A village head seeks to amplify his popularity by inviting an illustrious guest to inaugurate a temple. As the chief minister confirms his attendance, the villagers are abuzz with excitement. Will the dignitary fulfill their hopes?

In his moment of need, Veeranna calls upon Krishnappa (Sampath Maitreya), a mathematics teacher with a calm demeanor, who astoundingly secures a promise from the state’s chief minister to attend the ceremony through a well-placed contact. The series of humorous events that ensue as the village anticipates the chief minister’s arrival provide a brisk and uproarious build-up to the movie.

Sampath Maitreya and Tukali Santhosh in 'Moorane Krishnappa'

Sampath Maitreya and Tukali Santhosh feature in ‘Moorane Krishnappa’
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The genuine representation of the characters—many of whom seem ingrained in the village’s culture—significantly amplifies the film’s rustic charm. The comedic rhythm is so well-tuned in Moorane Krishnappa that it builds a rhythm, interspersing somber moments with jubilant, laughter-inducing ones. From an atypical funeral scene that bursts with humor to Veeranna’s bumbling rehearsal on how to greet the chief minister, the film showcases its clever writing and comedic talent.

The film is not only comedic but also creative in its approach. It exploits comedic gold from the internal monologues of a character often overshadowed by Veeranna. The foil to Veeranna, Ugramm Manju, is more preoccupied with his love affairs than the election, stumbling comically with his communication skills. Meanwhile, the gentle and sincere Krishnappa captures the audience’s empathy, achieving a touching redemption. Rangayana Raghu must be applauded for his exceptional grasp of the dialect and his natural comedic delivery.

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The tender romance that blooms between Krishnappa and Veeranna’s daughter (portrayed with finesse by Sripriya) offers a thoughtful counterweight to the prevailing waves of laughter. The couple’s moments resonate, backed by an evocative musical score from Anand Rajavikram and Suprith Sharma. Even with its modest budget, Yogi’s brilliant cinematography enhances the visual storytelling.

While the second act of Moorane Krishnappa treads towards the predictable and its presentation of the urban landscape through the innocent eyes of the protagonist could be more nuanced, the overarching message of sound governance eventually resonates with the audience. With its charming disposition, Moorane Krishnappa earns a place in the hearts of viewers.

Moorane Krishnappa is currently screening in theaters

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