Sapta Sagaradaache Ello [Side B]: Love Estuary
Sapta Sagaradaache Ello Side B Review
Star Cast: Rakshit Shetty, Rukmini Vasanth, Chaithra J. Achar, Achyuth Kumar, Pavitra Lokesh, Avinash, Sharatrh Lohithaswa, Ramesh Indira, Gopal Krishna Deshpande, Ashok Sharma, Ashwin Hassan, Sunil Kulkarni, Rajesh S Rao, Havish Sreenath
Cinematography by Advaitha Gurumurthy
Edited by Sunil S. Bharadwaj & Hemanth M. Rao
Written by Hemanth M. Rao & Gundu Shetty
Music Composed by Charan Raj
Directed by Hemanth M. Rao
Love is not bound by any boundaries, it’s UNIVERSAL…
The most powerful emotion ever is LOVE. You can’t escape from this neurological con job or neurochemical reaction or neurological sense that triggers a hormonal reaction. Because as Living Beings, we are doomed by this emotion. We receive it in abundance upon birth, excluding some troubled and neglected, born to inconsiderate mammals, everyone does. As we grow up, we want this emotion from a friend, a neighbour, a co-worker, an assistant, a spouse, children, grandchildren, and from society. What if we lose it and search around the Universe to find it?
Well, can’t keep myself away from science or mythology. So, there will be some connections, and hence, SPOILER ALERT!!!
Have you read about Lord Venkateswara Swamy‘s story? Lakshmi walked away from their abode, Vaikuntam, and in search of her, Vishnu had to come down to earth. They stayed back to bless people. In short description, this is the story. But why did Lakshmi walk away from Vaikuntha? In her eyes, a mistake was committed by Vishnu. What did he do? Rather than expressing anger on Sage Brigu, who dared to step on his heart, he decided to message the foot, asking him for forgiveness. She took it as an inconsiderate act towards her from her husband. Hence, whatever the reason might be she walked away.
Also Read: Western Vishnu Purana: Athade Srimannarayana
What happens next? Vishnu loses everything and walks around the Universe, in search of her. Unable to find her, he sits for penance and then takes the form of Srinivasa. Princess Padmavathi falls in love with him and he accepts her. As they get married, Lakshmi feels cheated and asks Srinivas for answers. He decides to not answer and stand by. This is the South Indian version of the story. In Marathi folklore, Lakshmi is born as Sage Brigu’s daughter Bhargavi and she walks away after Srinivas’ marriage to Kolhapur. She starts her penance there while Srinivas comes to meet her and decides to stay married single on Seven Hills. Padmavathi devi is also found single at Alivelu Mangapuram. While he gets married to both of them every day and every year, they seem to be distantly together. A version of this story can be equated to Manu, Priya, and Surabhi story.
Rather in this social film, Lakshmi aka Priya, is pushed away by an irrevocable mistake by Vishnu aka Manu. In her eyes, his mistake is not forcing separation but pushing himself away from her life. She did try to come and convince him to revert his decision. Their dream abode collapsed with his missteps and she had to find another home. But is he able to find a home? He found another princess in Surabhi to rule his heart but the Queen remains to be Priya. Does he regret those missteps? Does he regret his decision? He should but he doesn’t. As he doesn’t know the gravity of the pain, he imposes on himself and her, with his decision. Had he not pushed her away, she would have stayed put waiting for him, forever. May be a novelistic happy ending but not realistic.
Now, the King has returned from exile but their kingdom of dreams has no way to be alive. He understands the darkness that he imbibed on himself and accepts the fate. But he wants to know at least his Queen is able to live her dreams. Is she? He wanted a glimpse of her happy life, before traveling away near to the sea. But after setting everything right, he walked into the sea, the ultimate solace. This story is not about Manu but about Priya, too. Manu was always the light in her life, you might be able to pick up on this aspect, Manu and Priya, while searching for their home, go posing as a married couple. They both are always shot in light. Metaphorically and literally, the director said there is no wrong in what they wish.
Here, he is in the dark and she is in a darkness forced by him and her husband. With Manu, she might have not been so miserable, even while going through such hardships. Because Manu can’t stay away from her and she can’t too. Look at the smiling pictures of Priya with her husband, Manu catches on to her “smiling for the sake of smiling”. He knew as soon as he saw the photos, she was not the same Priya. Still, he wanted her to smile with heart. Forget him and think he is dead. But the connected souls only knew it when in reality they had got separated, literally. Well, she did move on but did she really? She lost her penchant for singing and she expresses he happiness by singing. She made an arrangement with her body and mind to lead a life but her soul never really moved on. See the shots of her smiling when sunlight falls on her, who brought it? See the shots, when she walks on the beach with her son, who brought her there? A connected soul, who is feeling restless as the other half is suffering in silence.
The most talkative Priya has hardly, ten-fifteen lines in Side B. Rather a silent Manu, has a line in almost every shot he is in. Souls did not exchange but hesitant and submissive Manu transformed into affirmative and enforcer. Hence, you see the eyes of his always seeking for some solace. His restless energy keeps him running. He felt more at home in Jail, the solace away from the crowd and society that keeps telling him about what is right. While he knows, he is breaking all moral codes and ethical codes – like stalking, stealing, kidnapping, killing, and interfering, he just wants the restlessness to end. He found Priya submissive to circumstances and hence, he needed to bring that Soul back so that he could also be alive and free. He needed Surabhi, who is similarly restless, to connect with him and together find another home, which again has physical and emotional activity.
Unfortunately, his one mistake has pushed their souls so far away that he had to immerse himself into the sea and literally, become her sea. What does a sea do, it gives solace to a river, even when it is flooded or even when it is at its low volume. Sea doesn’t discriminate and it doesn’t lose its composure. Unless and until, a river calmly dries out, some of the way, Sea saves it. The confluence cycle of atmosphere keeps the river alive in the form of rain. Director Hemanth Rao captures this entire story of souls masterfully on camera. He used grays, reds, greens, and blues at appropriate moments. The first portions are all in Gray, the best shot from these is Manu shutting his eyes to move on. Slowly, his desire to bring Priya’s smile back grows, reds take over and you can see the best is a slit mirror shot with Priya and Surabhi splitting his heart into halves, literally. As step by step her smile returns, blues take over. The best is her walking on the beach. Finally, when he is about to enter the sea, greens take over. The dark lives are now lush green with life. Listen to the chords by Charan Raj, every time he hits Bass guitar strings, it is almost like Manu’s heart beating for Priya.
I would have loved to see Priya meeting Manu for at least one last time in real. Also, would have wanted to explore her current relationship with her husband, and how heartful they are united as a couple. Well, like Prabhu, maybe these wishes are too dark but would’ve added some more diversity to what seemed like one perspective narrative. Rakshit Shetty spoke volumes with his eyes. He could emote as young Manu and older Manu without losing the core character. It did not look like Rakshit Shetty being himself in one shade and Manu in another. One of his best for sure. Chaitra J Achar as Surabhi is captivating and Rukmini without lines, showcased all the necessary emotions through eyes. Look out for shots when Manu is keeping both halves of his heart happy at the exhibition, almost like two chambers pounding at the same time while one sucking from veins, the other filling the arteries with fresh blood.
Hemanth utilises the camera to showcase some untold emotions. Manu tilts what seems to be a perfect photo frame into an angled one, he senses the difference between real happiness to the “sake of it”. Also, the camera movements are relentless with Dutch angles, and dolly zooms indicating the breathlessness the characters are feeling within. The entire Production design team has made efforts to pain-stalkingly construct each and every frame to never break the illusion of reality. The best thing is no frame looks like constructed just for the sake of it. For Manu, it is important to stay in a place that resembles him, the presence of his Queen and he is happy to take that exact place, she stayed in, while he gives her, her dream home with her family. Hemanth captures this aspect with parallel edits and shots. With each cut, we progressively see both souls reaching to a place that they further hope to call their home. See the detail where she gets the colored room she desires and he invites Surabhi into an empty kitchen. Both have been captured with similar overhead shots. There are many such instances to praise the craft of the team and SFX, to show differences for each character is also commendable.
Jail doesn’t transform Manu into a heartless person but makes him fearless and more street-smart. He is now ready to take on any opposition and become the judge as well. The only problem is that his judgment of himself has not given him any hope of recovering from the deep abyss. While he tried, his true solace and penance came only after he literally became sea for his Queen. Whenever you listen to conch, you can hear the sea. Similarly, after becoming sea, a conch he is present in everyone’s life, he touched. After taking training from a reformist like Patil in stitching fabric, he carefully stitched the fabric of the lives of everyone and reformed some, too. Hemanth Rao made a memorable film that reverberates waves of love in our ears from the Love Estuary constructed Seven Seas away from polluted society.
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