It’s been over a month since the beginning of 2020 and the Kannada film industry is yet to announce its existence with a big release. While other industries have marched way ahead, Sandalwood is still struggling to kickstart the year with a blockbuster. In the last two weeks, more than 20 movies have hit the screens and this week’s release Demo Piece, a no-brainer, too fails to impress.
Harsha (Bharath Bhopanna) is a spoilt brat and a happy-go-lucky student, who wants to live the rich way. After finding out about his spending habits, Harsha’s dad cuts down his pocket money. So, to make some quick bucks, he takes up a part-time job. It doesn’t work out and he gets into cricket betting. He loses a lot of money and drowns himself in loans. In college too, girls reject him for his careless attitude. He sets his eyes on Adya (Sonal Monteiro), but she also rejects his proposal. Eventually, he dies where the gods decide that he deserves another chance. So, they send him back to earth as a 'Demo Piece' with a Midas touch. What happens once Harsha returns to Earth blessed by the gods comprises the second half of the movie.
Demo Piece yet again proves that Kannada directors don’t think beyond the stereotypical script, even in the case of comedy movies. Several hit movies featuring superstars with similar plot lines have been produced in Kannada. Demo Piece is nowhere near any of them in terms of the making or comedy. The filmmaker demonstrates that he is yet to overcome the mentality of insulting the LGBTQ+ community to evoke ‘laughter’. Abuse and insults are showered on the hero’s friend, an LGBTQ member, which is not only distasteful but also proves that Sandalwood still lags behind when it comes to making contemporary films.
Harsha’s antics can really get on the audience’s nerves. In the college campus, he takes out a pair of scissors from his geometry box (beat that!) and ‘converts jeans into shorts’ and asks women to dress the same every day so that men can be motivated to come to college. This is just one of the instances of glaring sexism and misogyny in the film. The movie is full of errors too, especially the Yamaloka scenes. Also, Harsha, a B.Com student, is shown preparing for exams with a Physics textbook! Picking out errors in this movie is more entertaining than watching it.
Demo Piece seems like a film that should have been made three decades ago. Lead actor Bharath Bhopanna’s small screen stint gives him enough confidence to face the camera. But, to prove his heroism, he does it all – acting, fighting, romance, dance, gambling and even death in his first film. You name it, and he has done it but has excelled in none. Demo Piece is a poor debut for Bharath, who should stick to the small screen where he is popular.
Sonal’s role is more like an extended cameo. There is hardly any scope for acting. All she does is strut around and show attitude when Harsha approaches her. There’s a lot of stalking too! Veteran actor Sparsha Rekha, who plays the hero’s mother, and is also the co-producer, juggles between a supporting actor and ‘almost-lead’ roles. Mother-son dialogues are a big bore and are way too outdated for 2020. Supporting actors Rupesh and Chakravarthy have played their parts well.
The dialogues are crass, and so is Arjun Ramu’s music. Director Vivek A, who is also the co-producer, makes no attempt to present an entertainer. He seems to have borrowed storylines from all the '90 movies and presented it for the audience who want to watch an average '90s movie – and that's nobody! Demo Piece, with the mindless plot, is a painful watch.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.