Thurthu Nirgamana movie review: A unique coming-of-age fantasy drama

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Director Hemanth Kumar’s film, starring Suneel Rao in his comeback, is different from the regular Kannada commercial potboilers, which are usually dominated by songs, action and sentiment

Director Hemanth Kumar’s film, starring Suneel Rao in his comeback, is different from the regular Kannada commercial potboilers, which are usually dominated by songs, action and sentiment

It appears that Kannada cinema has finally understood that good content is a major requisite to gain the audience’s appreciation, and that star power alone cannot do it anymore.

Thurthu Nirgamana, the title of which means ‘Emergency Exit’ in Kannada, is one such experiment. The film, that marks actor Suneel Rao’s comeback after 12 years, is a coming-of-age fantasy drama. Suneel plays a dead man named Vikram, who gets a chance to relive the last three days of his life, and decide on what he wanted to accomplish in the aimless existence he had led earlier. Vikram believes that this opportunity is a dream and continues to be himself. The events that happen in these three days, some with magical realism, form the crux of the story.

Much credits go to cinematographer Prayag Mukundan and director Hemanth Kumar for creating a sense of closeness to the screen through amazing visual effects. Hemanth employs a 360-degree hyper-lapse shot technique to show how far and how quickly one can go in three days, instead of opting for usual montage shots. Interestingly, it is said to be a 20-second shot that captures the entire time frame.

It also becomes a spiritual journey for the character, as the last three days are a time-loop of sorts for Vikram; he continues to be stuck in this loop until he finds a purpose in those three days.

The film is different from the regular Kannada commercial potboilers, which are usually dominated by songs, action and sentiment. Its strength lies in its unique premise and narration. But though the concept of a time loop is new to Kannada cinema, the audience does tend to get tired after a point, as some of the sequences look repetitive; the length could have been trimmed to make it more watchable.

However, when it comes to the performances, Suneel Rao excels as Vikram, a character which is relatable to the present-day middle-class society. Vikram is intelligent, and yet, is happy to be stuck in rut. Sunil has proven that he has not worn-out in the gap of a decade. Similarly, Raj B Shetty, who essays the role of a cab driver named Shivu, also performs exceptionally. Though his role is small in the film, he contributes a lot with his signature dialogue delivery and mannerisms. While Achyut Kumar also succeeds in tickling the funny bones, the rest of the cast in Sudharani, Samyukta Hegde, and Hita Chandrashekar all perform adequately in their own way.

Turthu Nirgamana is meant for those audiences who are tired of formulaic films; in fact, it is best suited for an OTT platform, where people can watch in leisure and savour the content and narrative style.

Thurthu Nirgamana is currently running in theatres

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