Sandalwood
The movie, starring child actors Ashlesh Raj and Shlagha Saligrama, features over 280 kids and every character is carefully crafted.
Worth a watch

As kids, we all enjoyed the Gulliver and Lilliput story from the book Gulliver’s Travels. We were intrigued by the existence of small and cute human beings who could carry out exactly everything we did, but on a smaller scale. The pictorial representation of small roads, bridges and houses made us believe in their existence.

The original book, released in 1726, is still a big hit among kids. Almost three centuries later, if you Google Gulliver’s Travels, one of the questions that pops up is: Is Gulliver’s Travels a true story? Such has been the impact of the book. The teeny-tiny human characters are just too cute to ignore. Same is the case with Ravi Basrur’s experimental film Girmit

Raja (Ashlesh Raj) is a happy-go-lucky chap. His parents are on the lookout for a perfect match for him. A soothsayer predicts that Raja’s granny has only one month to live and Raja’s wedding has to be fixed before that. Perplexed, Raja’s parents hasten the ‘bride search operation’. Three sisters – Rekha, Roopa, Rashmi (Shlagha Saligrama) too are waiting for their dream match. On a bright sunny day, Raja sees Rashmi in the market and falls in love with her and she reciprocates. But, she cannot get married until both her sisters are married. Raja takes up the responsibility and finds matches for both Rekha and Roopa. But on Rekha’s wedding day, the groom lands in jail.

Girmit, in every frame, is a commercial movie. But what sets this movie apart is the kids and their cuteness. You can’t stop smiling when the 3-foot Raja makes a grand entry on a Bullet or wears his shades like Rajinikanth. A few scenes are hilarious and make audiences go aww. Girmit is also a typical family entertainer with its necessary ingredients. While there is a constant mood shift onscreen, the cuteness and bubbliness of the kids remain constant. The kids are sure to draw audiences, especially women and kids, to theatres.

Children stepping into the shoes of adults and overcoming challenges makes for a pleasant watch. The movie has over 280 kids and every character is carefully crafted. Market vendors, rowdies and supporting actors – everyone is teeny-tiny and manage to put a smile on the viewers’ faces. The movie is just two hours long, brief enough to communicate everything the director wants to.

Another major strength of the film is dubbing. In several scenes where Yash’s voice is in the background, you almost expect him to land in the scene with a thud. There is so much power and energy in his voice. You tend to miss him with every dialogue. Ashlesh Raj equals Yash’s voice with his acting skills. Radhika Pandit has dubbed for Shlagha Saligrama. Shlagha, who has previously acted in Kataka, is perfect as the junior Radhika Pandit. The way she twirls and swirls, makes faces and intimidates the hero, she seems to be another Radhika Pandit in the making. There’s plenty to take away for fans of star couple Yash and Radhika. In fact, if you close the eyes and listen to the film, it is just another Yash commercial. Pramod Maravanthe, who has written the screenplay and dialogues, has managed to balance the dialogues for both the stars and the kids.

Director Ravi Basrur has succeeded in bring out a well-produced, entertaining film that caters to every section of the audience. Music is another highlight that complements the story.

Other actors who have dubbed for the movie include Achyut Kumar, Rangayana Raghu and Shivaraj KR Pete. While many may feel that the kids should have dubbed for themselves, that would have made it just another children’s film and not Girmit.

Girmit, a popular street food from north Karnataka, is also a teatime snack in the Hubballi-Dharwad region. It’s tangy, sweet, a mix of all things wonderful, and irresistible, just like Ravi Basrur’s Girmit.

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.